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The improved Nokia WiFi Mesh: Wi-Fi EasyMesh without compromise

We’re all about choice in Nokia Fixed Networks. That’s why we support every broadband technology our customers need. What we don’t believe in is letting choice come with a compromise on quality.

For that, I am pleased to present a new technology in our Nokia WiFi portfolio that lives up to these strongly-held beliefs.

Back in 2018, the Wi-Fi Alliance introduced the Wi-Fi EasyMesh™ certification program as a way of ensuring compatibility between in-home Wi-Fi access points from different vendors. This gives consumers more choice as they can mix and match devices in their home Wi-Fi network.

While this is a good thing and we wholeheartedly endorse Wi-Fi EasyMesh, we do feel that we can give our customers an even better experience. That’s why we have gone about enhancing Wi-Fi EasyMesh with additional features: same compatibility with any other vendor’s Wi-Fi EasyMesh device, just with a little more under the hood that we know consumers and service providers want.

One of the innovations built into our Nokia WiFi Beacons and Gateways is interference detection and mitigation, whether that interference comes from neighboring Wi-Fi networks or other types of radio waves from Bluetooth devices, microwave ovens, and the like. For this to work, devices must be able to scan and analyze the environment. Wi-Fi EasyMesh provides a mechanism to perform channel scans and report results to the controller, but it does not specify how to use the scanning results. Wi-Fi EasyMesh also doesn’t specify how to go about access point, band and channel selection. This is, of course, important: having found a source of interference, we want to be able to change the channel or band to overcome it.

Our Nokia WiFi Beacon 3 uses a separate antenna so the scanning doesn’t interfere with Wi-Fi traffic. Then, we have Intelligent Channel Selection (ICS) and load balancing in our Wi-Fi EasyMesh implementation to make sure Nokia WiFi maximizes performance by automatically switching to the best band and channel.

A particularly user-friendly feature of Wi-Fi EasyMesh is that it requires all devices to support Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS)-based Push Button Configuration (PBC) onboarding. We’ve gone further, providing two kinds of zero-touch onboarding. QR code scanning is an easy way to set up a single device. And we’ve implemented Group-ID based onboarding so that devices sold together in a pack can be pre-paired at the factory, meaning that the first device automatically configures the second one, and so on.

Finally, Wi-Fi EasyMesh certification doesn’t include Wi-Fi 6 capabilities. However, the Nokia WiFi Mesh solution will include the new Nokia WiFi Beacon 6, our first Wi-Fi 6 access point.  This combines the benefits of Wi-Fi EasyMesh with Wi-Fi 6, while on a path toward Wi-Fi 6 included in Wi-Fi EasyMesh certification.

Wi-Fi EasyMesh is essential for giving Wi-Fi users better choice. Nokia is essential for giving Wi-Fi users better Wi-Fi.

Share your thoughts on this topic by joining the Twitter discussion with @nokianetworks or @nokia using #MWC20 #WiFi

Laszlo Gyalog

About Laszlo Gyalog

Within Nokia’s Fixed Networks Division, Laszlo leads the Broadband Devices marketing, focusing on how to extend a broadband offer into the home with meshed Wi-Fi, and how to fully optimize the Wi-Fi performance with advanced analytics. Outside business hours, Laszlo enjoys toying around with anything technology related (he is an engineer after all), photography and going for long walks with his wife and their dog.

Tweet me @Laszlo_G

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