Reliable broadband and Wi-Fi services are more important to consumers than ever before. As online entertainment consumption, remote work, telemedicine, and distance learning explode, better home Wi-Fi coverage is not just necessary, but a necessity.

Many consumers are turning to mesh networks, which connect multiple wireless nodes, to improve home coverage and network speed. So, it is not surprising that the global wireless mesh network market was forecast to grow at a CAGR of 12% between 2021 and 2026 and reach US 10 billion by 2026. In fact, mesh networks are now one of the hottest segments in wireless.

Nonetheless, with many modern technologies come challenges, and with mesh networking, a lack of plug-and-play multi-vendor interoperability has hindered widespread adoption. Until recently, consumers were required to buy into a mesh system from a single vendor. But now, with Wi-Fi CERTIFIED EasyMeshTM, consumers can utilize pieces of Wi-Fi mesh equipment supplied from a variety of vendors in the same house, and the guaranteed interoperability eases headaches for ISPs and consumers alike.

Wi-Fi EasyMesh

Wi-Fi EasyMesh is the Wi-Fi Alliance standard for Wi-Fi mesh network messaging, onboarding, security, control and diagnostics. Rigorous certification testing ensures interoperability among different vendors’ Wi-Fi EasyMesh equipment.

Wi-Fi EasyMesh features operate across the entire mesh network and include: channel management, client/station steering and band steering, capabilities and metrics reporting, backhaul optimization, channel scanning, traffic separation, services prioritization, WPA3, Wi-Fi EasyConnect onboarding, Wi-Fi 6 support, Wi-Fi QoS Management, and support for parental controls.

Delivering QoE is about interoperability and ease of use

As an ISP or broadband operator, quality of experience is at the top of your priority list––your success depends on it. What’s more, consumers crave flexibility and choice, and this is what Wi-Fi EasyMesh promises. Here a just a few of the benefits that Wi-Fi EasyMesh certified products stand to deliver:

Confidence. Wi-Fi EasyMesh equipment certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance has undergone a battery of tests giving ISPs and consumers the assurance they need for interoperability.

Eliminate Vendor Lock-in. ISPs are no longer locked into relationships with single vendors for mesh equipment. Plus, ISPs can also use Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Data ElementsTM, which provides a common plug and play Northbound interface to manage all EasyMesh equipment.

Manageable Networks. ISPs can obtain visibility into Wi-Fi performance within consumers’ networks and benefit from diagnostic/analytics tools by using the Wi-Fi and mesh network specific KPIs standardized in Wi-Fi Data Elements.

Customer retention. When consumers can choose among different equipment to receive the options and flexibility they seek, customer satisfaction and loyalty increase.

Lower Costs for Consumers. Mesh networks can be more expensive than routers. But with open standards, more component makers can manufacture products, which generates competition and lowers costs.

Ease of Use. Wi-Fi EasyMesh provides a highly scalable architecture and simple onboarding of multiple APs throughout the home to extend coverage to dead zones. Plus, Wi-Fi EasyMesh and the associated Data Elements and TR-181 management interfaces can help ISPs take complete ownership of their customers’ mesh Wi-Fi environment as a component of broadband service delivery. As such, issues can be proactively managed and settings configured automatically via software tools such as ASSIA CloudCheck.

How ASSIA works with standards including EasyMesh

We want you to be confident that the investment you make today to improve consumer QoS and home Wi-Fi QoE will not be obsolete in a few years. As so, we actively participate in standards organizations and contribute to the definition of standards, including Wi-Fi EasyMesh and Wi-Fi Data Elements.

ASSIA CloudCheck works with open standards, interfaces, and open-source software, and its architecture and roadmap are well aligned to the Wi-Fi EasyMesh specifications. For example, CloudCheck is designed to monitor, manage, and optimize mesh networks and adds proactive diagnostics and optimization, using cloud-based machine learning and analytics to prompt automatic or manual intervention to fix or improve subscriber performance.

The below diagram illustrates how CloudCheck monitors and manages Wi-Fi EasyMesh-compliant CPEs so that ISPs can effectively manage and optimize the in-home QoE for their subscribers:

EasyMesh Diagram

EasyMesh Diagram

The CloudCheck architecture takes advantage of the Wi-Fi EasyMesh standard and the TR-369 User Services Platform (USP) standard from the Broadband Forum. The CloudCheck Agent, which is embedded in APs, gathers significant data, which is pre-processed, filtered, and sent up to CloudCheck Server with the TR-181 and Data Elements data models using TR-369/USP.

prplMesh is an open source implementation of the Wi-Fi Alliance Wi-Fi EasyMesh specification, and ASSIA actively assists with developing prplMesh. Moreover, CloudCheck agent provides EasyMesh controller intelligence and is integrated with prplMesh to provide interfaces to send and receive EasyMesh messages to and from the Wi-Fi extender APs.

What’s next?

If you are looking to gain a competitive edge against other ISPs that are locking themselves into a single vendor’s mesh network hardware, we encourage you to provide support for Wi-Fi EasyMesh networks. ASSIA CloudCheck offers comprehensive Wi-Fi management, including futureproof control and diagnostics of multivendor Wi-Fi mesh solutions.

 

 

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