prplMesh R2 open-source stack juices whole-home Wi-Fi coverage

Sept. 9, 2021
The prpl Foundation has released its new prplMesh R2 open-source software to enhance whole-home Wi-Fi coverage.

The Santa Clara, CA-based prpl Foundation, billed as a community-driven consortium dedicated to the harmonization of open-source network architecture, this week announced the release of its prplMesh 2.0 software stack, which is the Foundation noted is now also eligible for Wi-Fi Alliance (WFA) EasyMesh Release 2 certification, for both Agent and Controller roles.

As explained by a consortium statement:

The mission of the prplMesh project is to create a carrier-grade, production-worthy, open-source solution for managing Wi-Fi access points in CPE gateways and Wi-Fi mesh extenders, to provide best-in-class Wi-Fi coverage and seamless user experience.

The prplMesh stack is designed as platform-independent, leveraging open standards and open APIs, and is currently ported onto both prplWare and RDK-B router operating systems.

Len Dauphinee, President of the prpl Foundation explained, “Service providers increasingly rely on open-source software solutions to best manage the complexity of supporting, updating, and remotely managing their disparate inventory of various CPE devices deployed in the field. This second release of prplMesh further enhances the Wi-Fi experience for both service providers and their subscribers with new features that improve the capacity, functionality and manageability of smart mesh networks deployed in homes.”

As further explained by the Foundation:

Subscribers will enjoy prplMesh deployments that provide true whole-home Wi-Fi coverage through easy installation of self-organizing smart routers and Wi-Fi extenders distributed throughout their homes. prplMesh 2.0 allows users to create and isolate so-called “Guest” networks for providing internet access to guests in the home while protecting the remainder of the home network from risks.

The prplMesh Controller includes new features that improve its intelligent decision-making algorithms that self-organize the Wi-Fi mesh into an optimal arrangement of backhaul and fronthaul links to adapt to the specific layout of each home and its variety of Wi-Fi devices inside. Other new features improve Wi-Fi capacity, user experience, security, and remote analytics. An extensive API enables service providers to remotely configure, control and manage the prplMesh stack.

For adopters of the software, the prplMesh testing regime is enhanced with automated infrastructure and a continuous integration pipeline.

The Foundation's statement noted that collaboration within the prpl community and with Broadband Forum led to the important milestone of the software's upgrade.

Contributions were made by top service providers, OEMs and technology vendors including Actiontec, ADTRAN, ASSIA, Calix, CommScope/ARRIS, Devalore, Deutsche Telekom, GlobalLogic, Inango, Intel, KAON, Lifemote, MaxLinear, Mind, Minim, Quantenna, SoftAtHome, and Vodafone.

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