Greg Owens, Product Marketing Director
Greg Owens has 25 years of telecommunications and ICT industry experience. As a Product Marketing Director for the Premises portfolio at Calix, Greg drives all aspects of marketing for the GigaFamily and EXOS products.
Typical Wi-Fi gateways are not very aesthetically pleasing. They often have multiple antennas sticking out in all directions, and an array of flashing lights along the front or top.
But what does that matter—as long as it works, right?
The origins of dead zones and weak Wi-Fi signals.
Here’s the thing. Because Wi-Fi is a radio technology, designed to be omni-directional, Wi-Fi gateways must be free of obstructions so they can send and receive strong signals in or from all directions. It should also be placed relatively close to the various devices that use the gateway to connect wirelessly to the Internet.
The perfect location, then, would be a living-room shelf. But because gateways are typically big and bulky, homeowners often stick them in basements or utility closets, or under desks. And the results are predictable: weak Wi-Fi signals, limited coverage, and dead zones.
In fact, according to a July 2019 study by Parks Associates, 30 percent of American broadband consumers experience a loss of wireless connectivity on a regular basis; with home Wi-Fi gateways often taking the blame. This explains why 22 percent of U.S. households have a Wi-Fi network extender and 11 percent have a Wi-Fi mesh networking product.
Here’s why multiple access points (APs) aren’t necessarily the answer.
So, do these products provide a better experience for the consumer? Not necessarily. In fact, even after spending hundreds of dollars on systems that claim to solve their Wi-Fi woes, many people end up calling their service provider to help with set-up and troubleshooting; and to complain about ongoing, or worsened, Wi-Fi issues.
In reality, having multiple access points (APs) in the home without careful consideration can actually diminish network reliability and performance, and complicate customer support efforts. If the APs are connected wirelessly to the primary gateway, over-the-air (OTA) attenuation can impact bandwidth performance, resulting in lower throughput for the connected devices. And, when subscribers call their service provider for help, there isn’t much that can be done because most consumer-grade Wi-Fi gateways do not feature remote management capabilities.
In reality, having multiple access points (APs) in the home without careful consideration can actually diminish network reliability and performance, and complicate customer support efforts.
Some consumer-grade solutions require units in each room of the house, adding to the overall cost. Others offer APs that plug directly into electrical outlets. This seems convenient but, because these devices are so low to the ground (where the electrical outlets are located in most homes), these units usually suffer from restricted coverage because their Wi-Fi signals are obstructed.
The best solution is deploying a single, powerful Wi-Fi system placed in a central location in the home. But, if the system is unsightly, consumers will want it out of sight. This creates a bit of a stalemate.
If only there was a carrier-class Wi-Fi system that looked as good as consumer-grade products, so that consumers would display it prominently in their homes to ensure optimal performance.
The BLAST u4 has great design, carrier-class reliability, and Ultimate Wi-Fi 6 technology.
The new Calix GigaSpire BLAST u4 is compact, featuring a minimalist design with no protruding antennas or flashing lights on top. Consumers will happily place it in any room of their home, wherever they can assure that it will provide optimal coverage and throughput. At the same time, it provides enhanced security and can be fully managed using remote diagnostics tools. And did I already mention it uses the latest Wi-Fi 6 technology and is fully WFA Wi-Fi 6 certified?
If you want to learn more, please visit the GigaSpire BLAST page, which includes details on all our Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6™ systems.