An increasing number of customers are now asking for outdoor WiFi solutions and Zyxel has responded by designing a new enclosure that will accommodate more of its access points. Patrick Hirscher, EMEA Wireless Market Development Manager at Zyxel, explains what’s on offer.
We all like to be in the fresh air when we can. But whether we are working or relaxing, and wherever we are – in our own garden, at an open-air café or bar, or in a park – we still want great WiFi.
Zyxel has offered a limited range of access points for outdoor use for many years and over the past 12 months we have seen a steady rise in enquiries about these devices. Home working has been on the rise and more people have wanted to get good WiFi access in their gardens at home during the spring and summer.
In response, Zyxel launched a special weather-resistant outdoor enclosure, into which you could place a number of our indoor access points. This enables you to deploy access points, such as our popular and affordable NWA1123 devices, which are designed to provide coverage over smaller areas, in an outdoor setting. Combinations of our lower-cost access points and the enclosure have been especially popular with home users.
Since the release of the enclosure in mid-2018 we have also seen an acceleration in demand for outdoor WiFi access in the commercial sector. This was already quite a strong trend, and with hospitality and leisure venues, schools and colleges and all other establishments now having to take additional safety measures, encouraging people to enjoy services and interact while they are outdoors has become much more attractive.
We have now launched a re-designed version of the outdoor enclosure that will accommodate many more of our access points. We’ve done this to give all our customers more options. This new enclosure can house more powerful devices, such as our NWA and WAX Access Points, which support the latest 802.11ax (also known as WiFi 6) standard. There is one exception in this respect and that’s the top-end WAX650S, which is too big to fit in the enclosure.
If you happen to be interested, all that’s noticeably different about the new enclosure is that we have provided additional holes that can be used to fasten NWA, WAX and WAC Access Points securely inside the box. The enclosure remains just as sturdy and just as good-looking; it is entirely waterproof and designed to cope with extreme temperatures.
Supporting more users
Being able to purchase these indoor access points for use in outdoor settings will give Zyxel customers and partners more options. It’s especially important for businesses like cafés and restaurants, and schools and colleges, that are going to have a large number of users coming and going all the time. The new WiFi 6 technology is much better at supporting large numbers of users without any drop-off in response times, so it’s really worth the extra investment. We also offer WiFi 6 devices that make use of dual frequencies, making connections more reliable, and support for Nebula, our cloud-based management service. But if 802.11ax is not what you need, there are plenty of other options – 13 of our current range of access points can be housed in the new outdoor enclosure.
Not all that long ago, the number of customers who want to use WiFi outdoors was quite low. Over the past year that has really changed. Rather than being part of some kind of special project, the need to provide outdoor WiFi is now much more commonplace. With our new, more versatile enclosure, we can meet the growing number and variety of requests. If you would like to find out more about our outdoor WiFi options, contact your nearest Zyxel office, or partner.Find out more