mojo networks

CTS 128: The Value of White Box Wi-Fi with Mojo Networks (Sponsored)

We’re diving into a world where businesses and Wi-Fi network engineers have full control over their Wi-Fi infrastructure through White Box Wi-Fi.

This episode is sponsored by Mojo Networks
Mojo Networks logo

White Box Wi-Fi

Rick Wilmer, CEO of Mojo Networks, got into the wireless industry through a CPE and core router company. He saw wireless networking being the next big technology.

We start by asking him, what is cognitive Wi-Fi? It’s collecting a mass amount of data from a network. They use the data to predict what the network is going to do next. If that’s going to be a negative user experience, going to try to remediate that problem fast enough before a user knows they’re going to have a problem. Cognitive Wi-Fi works better with more data, thus Big Data. Machine learning is applied to that data to automatically remediate issues related to end user experience.

Showing the client journey on guest wi-fi

Client journey from OCP Summit (March 2018) using white box APs

What is the biggest value of white box Wi-Fi? It drives cost of enterprise Wi-Fi down. As the cost of the solution goes down, volume goes up. Mojo Networks is about to ship their 500,000th access point. With the more APs out there in production, the more it feeds Mojo Networks’ big data.

Rick Wilmer says functionality and design is moving to the chipset vendors. Hyper scale companies are scaling out large data centers with compute but in their own way without relying on big vendors. That’s how Rick Wilmer found his way to the Open Compute Project (OCP).

OCP drives open standards around hardware which drives the trend of applying it to Wi-Fi. Nothing new is invented. Just as applying what was done to servers and switches but now into Wi-Fi. This focuses Mojo Networks towards developing more of the software side.

Vendor AP interoperability.

Blue icons are Mojo Networks APs, red are Edgecore APs along the OCP Summit floor. APs connected to the Mojo Networks Cloud.

If the AP is defined by the chipset and all the chipsets are largely coming from Broadcom and Qualcomm, that hardware platform is essentially going to be the same as far as core functionality.

Does that mean hardware doesn’t matter? Hardware is still important. It is important in a design and manufacturing stand point. But it’s driven by sophisticated original design manufacturers (ODMs).

Which verticals can take advantage of white box Wi-Fi? Wilmer says, higher education, enterprise, retail, and many more.

What’s driving the need for white box Wi-Fi? Generation 1 of the white box Wi-Fi is making APs available to customers at a price they come out of the factory. There’s no mark up or margin. Hardware comes from one vendor and software comes from someone else. It’s a disaggregation model but Mojo Networks obfuscates the process for the customer.

Generation 2 white box Wi-Fi is when the industry gets to a point where APs from different Wi-Fi vendors interoperate. Think about a light bulb. Any light bulb from any store can plug in and work.

“I can buy any brand of light bulb from any store, bring it home, plug it in, and it’s going to do what I expect it to do, which is light up my room. Wouldn’t it be amazing for the customer if access points worked that way.” – Rick Wilmer

What is the impact to firmware support. Wilmer says APs have been qualified to work with Mojo Networks cloud. Software has been certified with hardware, such as Edgecore access points.

We will see innovation moving away from hardware and into Cognitive Wi-Fi.

What are the basic requirements of a white box AP and what are the basic features we can expect to see? Wilmer says we will see full parity on the Mojo Cloud.

List of vendor AP interoperability in the Mojo Networks cloud dashboard.

Vendor AP Interoperability within the Mojo Networks cloud dashboard.

This has already been put into production with Edgecore and Mojo Networks APs at the Open Compute Summit which was held in the San Jose Convention Center. Mojo Networks provided the guest Wi-Fi for the summit. Edge Core APs were running Mojo Networks’ code. Attendees were provided views of the Mojo Cognitive UI running at their booth, like a NOC. Connected to the guest Wi-Fi, Mojo Networks was able to see 3400 visitors at the summit.

Table of total client associations during the OCP summit

Client associations from the OCP summit using white box APs.

How do you get other vendors involved? Customer pressure. If we want to see change in the Wi-Fi industry, we must pressure vendors to participate and develop solutions for white box Wi-Fi.

Links & Resources

CTS 089: Mojo Networks & The Client Journey at MFD2

We provide our thoughts on Mojo Networks presenting at Mobility Field Day 2.

Mojo Networks

Mobility Field Day 2 went live with Mojo Networks on July 25th, 2017. We visited their offices in Mountain View to see what was new with Mojo Networks.

First up on the agenda, CEO Rick Wilmer, talks about Mojo Networks’ participation in the Open Compute Project. Their goal is to bring Open Standards to access points. It’s a way for companies to use a vendor’s firmware on any access point hardware. It’s an interesting project because it would dramatically reduce costs of access points making it go the way of servers. There’s still plenty of work to be done but we should check in on the status often.

The newest feature of Mojo Networks is Mojo Aware. A way to gain visibility into the client journey. It’s all about the user experience. We got insight into association and authentication statistics, baselines for the wireless network, and average statistics of the clients using your network. It seems like major vendors are adding this point of view into their products.

Other topics we discuss on the episode:

  • Mojo Packets
  • Mojo Network’s 3rd radio

Links & Resources

CTS 072: Guide to Using External Antennas

Why should you use external antennas in your Wi-Fi environment? There are many reasons you should use them. In this episode, we talk about what to look for in external antennas, what to watch out for when deploying them, and what details to keep in mind.

We are used to internal antennas from our access points. Have you considered using external antennas to meet your Wi-Fi requirements? In this episode, we provide some educational material around external antennas. Yes, they do add some cost to a project but it’s not much compared to the solution they bring to your Wi-Fi network. There are use cases for external antennas and below are the topics we talk about during the episode.

This episode is proudly sponsored by AccelTex Solutions. They are providing a special offer just for our listeners. If you head over to their products page and use promo code CTS Podcast 72 they will send you a free antenna sample of your choice.

AccelTex Solutions

Episode Contents

  • Why use antennas, other than the ones built into the AP?
    • Aesthetics
    • Direct signal
    • To meet requirements
    • Use outdoor
  • Antenna types
    • Omni
      • Signal in 360 degrees
    • Semi-directional
      • Ranges in degrees such as 65 degrees, 120 degrees, etc
      • Patch
    • Directional
      • Dish
      • Yagi
  • Antenna details
    • Beamwidth
    • Azimuth and elevation pattern
      • Lobes
    • Gain
      • Passive
    • Connectors
      • RPTNC
      • RPSMA
    • Elements
      • Isolation
        • Antennas hearing each other
      • Horizontal
      • Vertical
    • Orientation
    • Antenna Polarization
      • Important for indoors?
        • MIMO
      • Outdoor PtP links
  • Design
    • When designing Wi-Fi be sure to use the right antennas
  • Deployment
    • Mount the antennas properly
    • Get the right angle
    • Consider spacing between antennas
    • Don’t connect two antennas to one access point, unless you’re using something like a DART connector on the Cisco 3802E
  • Personal experience
    • High density
    • Outdoor
    • Special use cases
Sample Radiation Pattern for AccelTex ATS-OP-245-47-6RPSP-36

Sample Radiation Pattern for AccelTex ATS-OP-245-47-6RPSP-36


RF Elements Antenna Propagation Patterns

RF Elements Antenna Propagation Patterns


Meraki MR53 2.4 GHz antenna pattern

Meraki MR53 2.4 GHz antenna pattern

Links and Resources

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