Nokia (NYSE:NOK) is adding a new product and several new features to its whole-home WiFi portfolio. The Beacon 1 is intended to complement Nokia's premium Beacon 3 solution, while Intelligent Channel Selection, pre-pairing and bridging features are intended to help simplify network setup and enhance the overall WiFi experience.
Nokia's whole-home WiFi solution is designed to counter congestion, interference, and dead zones while simplifying WiFi installation and management.
The Beacon 1 is an entry-level, whole-home mesh WiFi system. Like Nokia's premium Beacon 3 solution, the Beacon 1 includes Intelligent Channel Selection to automatically identify the best WiFi channel for each device. It also includes Nokia's mesh capabilities to eliminate dead spots. The Nokia WiFi Beacon 1 is an AC1200 system designed to cover approximately 1,500 square feet per Beacon.
In addition, Nokia is introducing several new features across its WiFi portfolio, all of which are included with the Beacon 1. They include:
- Pre-pairing - a software upgrade that pre-configures beacons sold in two-pack and three-pack configurations, eliminating the need to install each individually. Consumers install the first Nokia beacon, and the other beacons automatically recognize each other and self-install.
- Intelligent Channel Selection - The beacons detect both WiFi and non-WiFi interference and use Intelligent Channel Selection to choose the best WiFi channel and band.
- Nokia WiFi Mesh technology - automatically combines Ethernet, 5 GHz WiFi and 2.4 GHz WiFi to connect beacons. When needed, it automatically reroutes traffic to another beacon.
- Nokia WiFi Mobile Application - an interface that provides a visual representation of the WiFi home network, including a heat map to locate and manage dead zones. Customers can also access device lists and management capabilities or activate a guest network. The application also gives users access to network care and troubleshooting capabilities.
- Bridge mode function - allows users to connect a beacon to an existing gateway with routing functionality. While in bridge mode, the existing residential gateway will perform the basic routing function, while the beacons provide WiFi throughout the home.
Sandra Motley, president of Nokia's Fixed Networks business group, said: "Having a high-speed, uninterrupted WiFi experience in the home is becoming essential for both operators and consumers alike. Operators want to eliminate the 30-50% of customer calls they receive due to poor WiFi performance while consumers want a solution that is easy to install, dependable and can deliver on the speeds they are paying for. Nokia's enhanced in-home WiFi portfolio addresses all of these requirements, providing a fast, ultra-reliable mesh WiFi solution that is unmatched in the industry today."
The Nokia WiFi Beacon 1 and Beacon 3 whole-home WiFi systems are available for purchase at Amazon.com. The Beacon 1 retails for $129.99 and is available in single or three-pack configurations. The Beacon 3 is available in single, two-pack and three-pack configurations.