By Caroline Gabriel
Turkish WiFi specialist AirTies continues its invasion of the US market with a win at Atlantic Broadband, the US cable subsidiary of Canada’s Cogeco, which bills itself as the ninth largest cable operator in the country.
This is the third AirTies deal for its WiFi Mesh platform, after it landed Midco a year ago and Frontier Communications in July. This advanced mesh technology also underpins Sky UK’s Sky Q communications platform, and the company has given hints of major deals at some point with Tier 1 US players.
With the AirTies technology, broadband customers can look at visualizations of WiFi streams in a home, and where one is causing problems, move it to another access point in the mesh (client steering) even if that’s in a different piece of spectrum (2.4 GHz or 5 GHz). Back in January Comcast launched an inhouse solution with similar capabilities.
Unlike traditional WiFi, which relies on a single AP on a home router, Atlantic Broadband will use multiple mesh APs to create an intelligent network with faster connection speeds and more consistent performance, using the Air 4920, which includes Client Steering to ensure devices continually connect to the best available AP and the best frequency band.
Atlantic will also use AirTies’ Remote View software, a cloud-based performance monitoring platform used by field support and network engineering teams to optimize WiFi.
It may not be that the full power of AirTies product line has been unleashed however – in the Sky Q product an alternative powerline backhaul is also used in case the WiFi 5 GHz self-backhaul becomes compromised.
A recent survey of 1,050 respondents in the US and UK, with multiple WiFi users per home, commissioned by AirTies and conducted by Qualtrics, found that the majority of consumers would consider upgrading their Internet service plans, or paying extra, for a premium WiFi experience that improves performance throughout the entire home. In addition, 78% of consumers said they would prefer if their ISPs provided them with their in-home WiFi networking gear, versus purchasing it themselves.
In the meantime, Cable One, billing itself as the seventh largest cable operator in the US, also announced a new premium WiFi service, called WiFi ONE. We understand that the router has been supplied by Actiontec, and uses a 4×4 Multiuser-MIMO chip, which comes with the option of MoCA-connected extenders. This means individual homes can purchase a second WiFi repeater which freshens up the WiFi signal in other rooms. This goes with its new 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps broadband product line.
Cable ONE has also just acquired NewWave Communications for $735m, extending its reach from 650,000 homes to around 1.2m.