Top 5 WiFI Companies in the USA and Why

Today we are going to talk about the WIFI majors.

In 2020 what we are seeing is a consolidation of the Major players who manufacture WIFI access Points. Gartner states nearly 80% of all corporate Wi-Fi sold in the United States comes from these key vendors. eTribeca partners with all of them:
Cisco (who got into wifi early in the 90’s with the purchase of Aironet) and Meraki (Cisco Cloud only Solution purchased in 2012).
Aruba (who was purchased by HP in 2015 and has since rebranded their midline switches as well as all WIFI calling them Aruba).
Ruckus (now part of CommScope as of 2019, who is known for cellular and Indoor Cellular).
Aerohive (now part of Extreme networks as of 2019, who also purchased parts of Brocade switching and Avaya).

Cisco

We could talk about these companies and their respective product offerings for hours. I think if you scan the web you will see much writing about them. This is more about my impression of them as we move into WIFI 6 this year.

Cisco has always been able to keep their position due mostly to having a reliable outstanding product with a 20-year track record and focusing on the high value enterprise customer. The solution in recent years has become more and more complicated and requires attention to firmware updates and changes in client devices for optimal use.

Meraki

it’s the cloud gorilla in the room. It has a nice self-upgrading feature because its cloud but I put it a little like apple, works great but once you want to do something outside of the box it’s difficult to do so. We see people moving into this solution to have flat IT expense but as whole networks are now being pure WIFI some are considering the other manufactures either as a further cost cutting exercise of a specific feature, they can make better use of.

Ruckus

Probably the best head device on the market (AP with beamforming that is hardware and not just software as some of the others do). They have developed a cloud offering so you can switch the hardware back and forth between dedicated solutions (in house) and cloud. It took them years to get this right and this is there goldilocks period. CommScope have taken a hard hand to them and want to push them more to a wholistic solution inside the rest of the product line. With the best OpenG offering for 3.5ghz in building there is a fit and they should be considered in both indoor and outdoor.

Aerohive

The last of the self-standing wireless vendors that were suddenly sold last year to extreme

Honourable mention and up and coming

Two others Myst (now part of Juniper) and Ubiquiti. Myst has a great virtual beacon for wayfinding and fits in the retail space. We don’t know what privacy issues will come out of congress or state assembly’s in the next couple of years (or even sooner) but they will probably adapt to whatever legal landscape we end up in.
Ubiquiti is an Asian low cost, value priced solution. They tried to break out of that market about two years ago but do not seem to have succeeded yet. If you have a small network or Wi-Fi is an add on to your network, the price point is appealing. That said we tend to find people replace the product once a feature set is needed more. Example is reliable and fast support and WIFI features and updates.
If you have read this far then I think you are noticing a pattern. All the major Wi-Fi providers do an excellent job! You have to build a list of features you are interested in and weigh them by importance. We can help in deciding the solution that is a best fit for you. Contact my team so that we can start the conversation.

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When is it time to upgrade your Wi-Fi network?

Whenever you think “I want to upgrade my wi-fi network,” you should always ask yourself, “Why?

Updating your Wi-Fi network to meet today's business needs is complicated and you may be under the false impression that it's just a matter of swapping out old AP’s.
There’s a great deal more to it.
So, the real question, “when is it time to upgrade your wi-fi network?”
Before you decide on upgrading, here are some key questions you must first ask yourself:
Why am I upgrading?
Do I use the current manufacture and if not why change?
What does my Wi-Fi network look like today and how do I want to change it?
What kind of devices am I supporting, when will that need to change?
Is my LAN network ready for a Wi-Fi upgrade?
So, today we are talking about the key indicators to upgrade your Wi-Fi?

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When to deploy WiFi 6?

Question: When to deploy Wi-Fi 6 Access Points?

Answer: This year and here is why
A lot of Companies are starting to consider when to deploy Wi-Fi 6 on there network and what the uptake will be by devices.
Last year we had almost no device use, despite two or three manufactures coming out with early product (Ruckus and Aerohive etc.)
Now we are starting to see second generation Access Points from all manufactures roll out in the next 60 days.
I think this will show in simple terms what we can expect.

I would estimate that next year we will see a jump to at least 20 % usage and perhaps as high as 50% on Wi-Fi 6. Once we hit that kind of numbers we can get back 2.4ghz and more useful bandwidth management.

I put the Pope Inauguration image to show how fast change can come. OK that was 8 years but in today’s fast replacement world of devices, by 2025 we could see all Wi-Fi 6 and or Wi-Fi 6a products being used.

Think about contacting us to talk more about your options. Timing is always critical when deploying new or refreshing your technology, use eTribeca as your best resource for honest and expert advice. Call Us 212 219 0207 or email: sales@etribeca.com

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Wi-Fi's 2021 upgrade When is a good time and Why

Wi-Fi is going to be better like never before. This year we are going to see the new client devices with support for Wi-Fi 6E. The new upgrade is essentially like increasing your wireless connection and speed. With this new spectrum it will mean faster connect times, higher-speed connections, and that translates to the airwaves are less likely to be congested.

Wi-Fi 6E

How will this “fix” my existing network?
We often experience difficulty while connecting with the Wi-Fi network, which mostly means bandwidth congestion. This is a shared highway just like our cars drive on and with WIFI 6e (for 6ghz) we extra lanes, that nobody is using. We have it all to ourselves!
Whenever too many devices are trying to connect over the same frequencies, sometimes devices start getting dropped or have hold off. We have a monitoring service that tells you exactly what the issue is with eT Network Patrol, but more on that in another article.
6GHZ Wi-Fi called 6e is offering a new spacious band that will not overlap with other signals like on some current Wi-Fi channels.
Previously all existing Wi-Fi devices operated on two spectrum bands, 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Wi-Fi 6E adds a third 6GHz. Wi-Fi 6E adds a fresh unused (indoor) spectrum. That means you can have larger, higher-speed connections, and are less likely to be congested. If you want to keep up to date when Companies Like Aruba, Cisco, Extreme and CommScope (Ruckus) drop us a line and we will put you on our short blast mailing on what to look out for at ads@etribeca.com

When to upgrade to WIFI 6e?
If your current WIFI network is more than three years old, then possibly it is time to upgrade. Devices that support Wi-Fi 6 (no 6ghz, that is 7e) are becoming more common, both higher-end models as well as some value priced ones. Contact us and we can advise you further on your specific needs. We can expect all devices supporting Wi-Fi 6E new hardware to be available by 2022-2023.

Conclusion
Simply put, if you refresh every 3 years and are ready to upgrade in early 2021, then stick with WIFI 6 Access Points however start to plan/design for the WIFI 6e from a cable deployment prospective (cat 5 for example will not support the higher speeds).
Building for 6e today is a design consideration, if you are ready to upgrade and have aging equipment and looking to get competitive hardware pricing from the manufactures to upgrade now rather than wait for WIFI 6e. If waiting for 6e is not an option (lots of entities are upgrading during Covid as they have easier access to office areas with less people onsite) or if your vendor has not released anything yet, it will depend on when your next refresh might be required; example end of support equipment.

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