By Claus Hetting, Wi-Fi NOW CEO& Chairman
California and India-based Wi-Fi startup Qubercomm says they’ve developed chipset and protocol-agnostic software that can turn any home Wi-Fi device into a dynamically managed Wi-Fi mesh node. Add to that a host of Wi-Fi mesh optimisation features including application-based tuning and power control, and the end result is many multiples better whole home Wi-Fi performance, the company says.
Delivering whole-home Wi-Fi using mesh nodes – then perhaps adding a splash of Cloud-based optimisation – seems the order of the day among dozens of vendors and service providers alike. But how about in addition to bringing mesh Wi-Fi routers into the home, you also use the devices that are already there to set up your mesh? Startup Qubercomm says they’re doing just that.
The company says any home wireless device – a set-top box, a laptop, a TV – can be commandeered to become a part of the home Wi-Fi mesh network and hence contribute to delivering connectivity. According to Qubercomm, there’s nothing fundamental stopping for example a set-top box from being configured as a Wi-Fi mesh AP – and for the unit to be dynamically managed as such.
Many times better than fixed Wi-Fi mesh
“Once the various devices have been enabled for Wi-Fi mesh, the trick is to pick the right node for the job dynamically depending on where you need the connectivity to be delivered, and that’s exactly what our solution does. And we manage all mesh nodes with the same algorithm to offer a much improved Wi-Fi experience,” says Sudarsan Vasudevan, President & CEO of Qubercomm.
The company says their testing shows many multiples – even up to ten times – better user throughput with this form of dynamic meshing versus for example 802.11s-based mesh units in fixed locations. Qubercomm has been working on the system – dubbed NMESH – since 2017. The company’s senior management team has previously worked for the likes of Qualcomm, Marvell, and Cisco.
Multiple planes of home Wi-Fi optimisation
As with any new technology, the devil is in the detail – although the company says their software resides above the chipset and mesh system level and hence is agnostic to both. “We support all of EasyMesh, WDS, and 802.11s protocols as well as multiple chipset vendors, which means NMESH-configured Wi-Fi devices can work with dedicated mesh units, too,” says Vasudevan.
Once the mesh units have been configured, Qubercomm has packed a host of Cloud and locally run management features into the system to make sure optimisation happens according to a long list key indicators, Sudarsan says. “We’ve included the ability – among other things – to optimise connectivity at the application level and optimise for power consumption. In general we feel we’re ahead of what most of our competitors out there are capable of as of today,” he says.
Multiple trials & consumer products underway
The system is ideal for ISPs who wish to boost Wi-Fi performance in the home in order to differentiate their offering in the marketplace. And it is at least as attractive to consumer electronics vendors who want to add unique features for delivering better Wi-Fi in the home, the company says.
The company says it is already working on trials with service providers and consumer electronics companies in North America, Europe, and South-East Asia. NMESH-powered Wi-Fi devices will hit the market starting this fall, says Qubercomm.