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The Next Big Thing in Wi-Fi? Multiple access points in every home

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Efrain Johnson
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Oh and expect a patent battle

Opinion We suspect there is going to be a patents battle in Wi‑Fi mesh software.

We managed to conclude all of this from one telephone conversation this week with Irvind Ghai, the Qualcomm Atheros VP Product Management, in charge of Wi‑Fi mesh.

First, let’s go back about eight months, when American globo-corp Comcast came out with a surprise announcement at the Consumer Electronics Show and said that by the end of 2017 it would offer software which would allow both the consumer and a remote help desk to control how Wi‑Fi is operating.

Ghai also said that he has two more tier 1 accounts which he cannot reveal as yet, which will show their hands this year, and we have already seen Broadcom and Quantenna licensing software very akin to Plume mesh software from Turkish firm AirTies, and have suggested that this is to retain supply deals with someone big, possibly AT AirTies has already licensed Sky in the UK, Germany and Italy with its Wi‑Fi Mesh technology which even allows for powerline as an alternative backhaul, where 5 GHz Wi‑Fi signals are not clear enough.

So that’s around four of the US majors about to go to market with very aggressive and very similar services covering as many as 74 million homes over the next few years and at three access points per home using up 222 million access points.

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Efrain Johnson
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