Powerco to upgrade its wireless network to WiFi-6

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Powerco to upgrade its wireless network to WiFi-6
Juniper AP43

Electricity and gas distributor PowerCo intends to upgrade its existing wireless network to the latest WiFi-6 standard, with the help of multinational technology companies NEC and Juniper.

The upgrade is intended to address several issues with its legacy WiFi network, and to replace its current, incumbent vendor.

Powerco did not specify what the issues are.

An NEC spokesperson told CRN NZ that the deal involves 10 different locations, in a replacement of Powerco’s entire wireless network country-wide.

The WiFi upgrade represents a new deal for Juniper and NEC.

"Juniper, NEC and Powerco have built up a long-term relationship across the network over numerous years.

"The nationwide wireless network replacement is considered a new win, and an extension of that long-running relationship in which we replaced the existing wireless vendor," the spokesperson said.

For the upgrade, Juniper's AP43 WiFi-6 or 802.11ax access point was selected.

To manage the access points, Powerco will use Juniper's Mist WiFi Assurance which is a cloud-based service with machine learning and artificial intelligence.

The Mist WiFi Assurance preemptively optimises wireless performance and replaces manual troubleshooting tasks with automated operations.

It also features automatic packet capture for event correlation and network intelligence with radio resource management at client level, according to Juniper.

On top of being compliant with the latest WiFi standard, AP43 offers a 16-element virtual Bluetooth Low Energy antenna array for accurate and scalable location services.

These include applications for user engagement, asset visibility and contact tracing.

The AP43 device also has Internet of Things capabilities, such as integrated sensors and an interface that can control analogue and digital devices, for meeting room bookings, door locking and camera control.

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© CRN New Zealand

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