Above: EnGenius EWS357AP 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 access point just released
By Claus Hetting, Wi-Fi NOW CEO & Chairman
While several of the big enterprise vendors have already launched high-end Wi-Fi 6 access points, the grand prize in the imminent mass-market transition to Wi-Fi 6 could well be found elsewhere: Among millions of small businesses. California-based EnGenius last week became the first vendor to launch two amazingly priced Wi-Fi 6 access points targeting the SMB segment.
Wi-Fi 6 is not only about delivering Wi-Fi at stadiums and big corporate campuses. Soon millions of small businesses will want to run Wi-Fi 6, too – and that includes every doctor’s office, fitness club, small hotel, lawyer’s office, you name it. Enter EnGenius: The first vendor to launch amazingly priced enterprise-grade access points according to the new Wi-Fi 6 standard.
An economical boost to Wi-Fi quality
“Wi-Fi 6 is as much about quality as it is about higher speeds. We want to make sure that small businesses can upgrade to Wi-Fi 6 without necessarily having to upgrade the rest of their network. That’s what our new Wi-Fi 6 APs are about,” says Bryan Slayman, Product Line Manager at EnGenius.
EnGenius last week became the first to launch a 2 x 2 Wi-Fi 6 product and only the fourth vendor to offer Wi-Fi 6 APs in general. The new AP – called EWS357AP – will meet the peak performance specs of the majority of device clients, which are only up to 2 x 2 anyway, EnGenius says. The list price of the 2 x 2 unit will be only $189 USD, while its 4 x 4 bigger brother (EWS377AP) will list at $289 USD. Both new Wi-Fi 6 products will be shipping in Q1 2019, the company says.
Zero dollars in software license fees
And of course, EnGenius is right. Far from every venue will need the massive capacity boosts delivered by high-order MIMO but every one of them will benefit from the vastly improved service quality of Wi-Fi 6, including a completely new way of making use of the 2.4 GHz band.
Add to this that these new Wi-Fi 6 APs are – like many current high-end Wi-Fi 6 products – powered by Qualcomm chips and hence about as fully-featured as it gets on the market today. Add to this that EnGenius charges exactly zero dollars in software license fees – a cost component often (and for good reason) dreaded by small business owners.
20 years of wireless history
EnGenius has been in the wireless and Wi-Fi businesses nearly as long as Wi-Fi has existed and the Orange County-based company will share its 20-year anniversary with the Wi-Fi brand itself next year. Bryan Slayman says the company has delivered millions of Wi-Fi devices during its history with many thousands of EnGenius Wi-Fi networks in operation across the US and the world today.
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