The proliferation of multiple devices in the home is shaping an increasingly digital world. As homes are filled with more devices that consume high bandwidth like video streaming and downloading, high-speed wireless connectivity has become a top priority.
On top of the bandwidth needs, these devices are spreading into every room of the home, creating greater coverage challenges. Service providers must step up their game to meet the growing demands for wireless connectivity. By implementing multiple access point architectures to improve coverage of the Wi-Fi signal in every point in the home, they can prepare for the inevitable transition towards a hyper-connected world.
Having multiple access points that are serving the entire covered area, with possibly different backhaul, fronthaul and service needs, complicates the design of the hardware which considers the end-users location preference, while providing performance and coverage benefits.
ElasticMIMO™ allows homes with Multi AP Wi-Fi Networks to maximize the full capacity of their network. It addresses one of the most common problems of Multi AP topologies—capacity. Whether users want to focus on the backhaul or the fronthaul, ElasticMIMO™ can dynamically adapt MIMO configurations based on Wi-Fi usage patterns and network conditions, enabling them to optimize Wi-Fi performance.
Understanding Multi AP Wi-Fi Network Topologies
Most homes need more than one access point to achieve reliable, high-speed internet connectivity across all areas of the building. With a multi-channel configuration, homeowners can roam seamlessly within their network and enjoy the best coverage and capacity.
A single access point can only cover a few meters. If a home has a single AP, homeowners can only connect to the internet within that range and the further they move away from the AP, the weaker the signal gets.
There are several different network topologies, and understanding the perks and woes of each configuration enables service providers to set up the best one for homeowners. In this section, we will take a look at three common topologies:
- Hybrid Network
- Wi-Fi Star Network
- Wi-Fi Mesh Network
As the demand for wireless connectivity continues to rise, service providers need to leverage the right topology to meet consumers’ needs.
What Is the New EasyMesh Standard?
Often, vendors have their own proprietary mesh Wi-Fi systems. This makes their mesh Wi-Fi solutions incompatible with another vendor’s solution. In other words, service providers can’t build a home network of devices using devices from multiple manufacturers.
The Wi-Fi Certified EasyMesh standard changes that.
Wi-Fi Alliance, a non-profit organization that sets Wi-Fi standards, created this certification program to make mesh hardware interoperable. The EasyMesh standard enables wireless mesh network routers, APs, and gateways from different vendors to communicate with each other.
The Future of Multi AP Networks once ElasticMIMO™ is available
Faster than the current 802.11ac standard, Wi-Fi 6 is the next-generation standard in wireless technology. ElasticMIMO™ is another breakthrough innovation developed to satiate the world’s increased demand for wireless connectivity.
By enabling the dynamic configuration of MIMO per band, ElasticMIMO can adapt in real-time to meet deployment and service needs and allow homes with mesh topologies to maximize their network performance. This is already advantageous today, but it will be even more beneficial once the 802.11ax standard is applied to 2.4 and 5 GHz bands.