Hybrid working in the pandemic has pushed the subject of wireless connectivity to the forefront. The world needs a stable and speedy Wi-Fi, now more than ever. But even though Wi-Fi 6E is here for the taking, it’s adoption speed within the US has been quite less than expected. At the recent Mobility Field Day event, Ventev presented their product line that is aimed at solving the burgeoning challenges in Wi-Fi network and wireless deployments with a touch of aesthetics.
Tech That Can Camouflage
In a lot of ways, 6E is truly the Wi-Fi superhighway that it is said to be. It has huge bandwidth, great performance, it is highly secure and has the best user experience. But there is a caveat. As a solution, Wi-Fi 6E faces some steep adoption challenges, the biggest of which is the Automated Frequency Coordination.
To make sure that unlicensed users of 6GHz band do not interfere with the registered users, FCC has put in place the Automated Frequency Coordination or AFC. Any new 6E AP is required to consult a registered database to make sure that a licensed channel user is not adversely impacted by its operations. But to this day, FCC has not approved the 6GHz AFC systems even though it has been in discussion in open meetings. That puts a cap on the use of outdoor 6E APs.
Alongside this, a demand is growing for what is called “inconspicuous Wi-Fi”. Users are increasingly gravitating towards slim body antennas that either blend in on their own or are easy to hide. This is urging manufacturers to digress from the common clunky mounting options for Wi-Fi appliances and design access points of unobtrusive aesthetics that can be tucked behind everyday objects.
Concealable 6E Antennas That Are Not Your Regular Ugly Black Box
Ventev’s line of small form factor antennas is just what have customers been wanting all along. They are small, lightweight, attractive and concealed. Over the years, with the progression of its portfolio, Ventev antennas have grown smaller in size. Compared to its Original Patch antenna which had a form factor of 9×9 inches, its latest Femto Patch antenna is a lot smaller. Measuring only 3.4×3.4 inches, the Femto Patch is three times smaller.
But the Femto Patch antenna is not the smallest they have on the product line. The Ventev Pico Patch II antenna has an even smaller form factor with dimensions 3.5×2”. But unlike the Femto, the Pico Patch II is a 5GHz model.
Ventev partners with industry leading manufacturers like Cisco and Aruba for designing and manufacturing mounting devices for access points.
A Look Through Ventev’s Catalogue
At the recent Mobility Field Day event, Dennis Burrell, Sr Product Manager at Ventev showcased Ventev’s product line. In a short 30-minute presentation, he gave the audience a rundown of the 6E antennas and aesthetic solutions on Ventev’s portfolio that complement the theme of “inconspicuous WiFi”.
Instead of waiting for FCC to finalize the AFC, Ventev got to work designing antennas that are 6E ready. The Femto Patch Antenna is Ventev’s smallest dual band antenna on the catalogue and the smallest in the market so far. Within its slim body, the Femto holds four ports. Ventev improved it by making it 6E. “We wanted to take this antenna and make it a 6E – “tribanded to include the 6E frequency band,” says Burrell.
The Femto Patch 6E is a 6 dBi antenna with a thin and light design. IT has a Voltage Standing Wave Radio value of <2.0 which translates to 90% power transmission and 10% loss. Measuring 3.4×3.4×1.4 inches, the Femto Patch 6E has a front-to-back ratio of 9dB/15dB/15dB. Although that’s admittedly less than that of other antennas, Ventev was able to achieve an acceptable front-to-back ratio even with its slight form factor.
In aesthetic solutions, Ventev has a line of patented raised floor tile antennas which it came up with six years ago. “We took a concrete raised floor tile and we embedded one of our planer antennas into this floor tile,” says Burrell.
Contrary to the traditional top-down design of Wi-Fi deployments, this one has a top-up design that runs from floor to ceiling. With the client device at a height of 3.5 ft, the antenna achieves maximum performance. The AP connected to the tile is either mounted or put in a carrier. Once the tile is put in place and the carpet is pulled over it, its completely out of sight. Ventev works with a number of flooring solutions manufacturers like Global IFS and ASM for its line of raised floor tile antennas to ensure variety in the tiling material.
Antennas are often unattractive and not something we like staring us in the face. Users don’t care if it’s put in a box or hidden with the toys, as long as it’s out of sight. Ventev’s antennas and deployment options address both the problems of clunky antennas and the concealment issue. But that’s not all – these antennas are Wi-Fi 6E ready. Perfect reason to swap out the old bulky antenna for a new one.