Wi-Fi EasyMesh: a step towards multi-vendor Mesh

By Stephane Renaud

Wi-Fi distributed networks based on multiple Wi-Fi mesh nodes have gained traction in the recent years, as they provide a way to increase coverage across large homes, or complex environments. Using real life measurements from over 7,000 different homes, Quantenna has shown that, when the main access point is based on 4x4 MIMO, about 55% of homes need an additional mesh node to deliver fiber speed to the entire home. This percentage drops to 15% when using 8x8 MIMO (please refer to our previous white paper on the benefits of 8x8 home gateways).

Getting a system with multiple mesh nodes to operate with good performance is quite challenging, and requires very careful system design. For instance, ensuring that a client always connects to the best available node, and balancing the load between the various frequency bands and channels, is very important to ensure a proper end user experience. Quantenna has been a strong believer in mesh architectures, and we have been promoting our self-organized network solution called SONiQ to provide OEMs and service providers with differentiated performance in mesh environments. Several products based on SONiQ are shipping today from various OEMs.

Wi-Fi alliance has engaged into an effort to harmonize various proprietary implementations for mesh software, and ensure interoperability between different vendors. This enables OEM and Service Providers to build their mesh offer on the base of multiple vendors. In particular, this allows to add new mesh nodes to existing mesh networks, as long as both are Wi-Fi CERTIFIED EasyMesh.

Quantenna is fully supportive of the Wi-Fi EasyMesh certification program, and we are adapting our solutions to comply to Wi-Fi EasyMesh. Quantenna is also playing an active role in bringing further enhancements to the Wi-Fi EasyMesh Program, under the Wi-Fi Alliance umbrella. Those enhancements will cover additional use cases, increase system performance and improve the end user experience.