Luxul had plenty to talk about at CEDIA EXPO in San Diego…we wanted to find out more! I sat down with Mike Grubb, Luxul’s VP of Marketing to talk about new product introductions and how they are supporting the CI channel.
Maureen Jenson: At CEDIA, Luxul unveiled a number of networking solutions. Can you offer a recap of the highlights?
Mike Grubb: For Luxul, CEDIA 2018 served as a launchpad for several new products. These included our Easy Setup App, which allows integrators to install a Luxul router and up to two wireless access points (APs) — at the same time — from the convenience of a mobile phone in a matter of a few minutes. Another highlight was our next-generation XWC-2000 wireless controller. The controller delivers twice the capacity of its predecessor with support for up to 32 APs, allowing each AP to be configured for a designated wireless channel, in addition to supporting individual wireless transmit power adjustment. Newly deployed APs are now automatically added for plug-and-play installation.
We introduced new Gigabit switches that bring enterprise-level performance to the CI channel at affordable price points, including the 18-port/16 PoE+ AMS-1816P and 12-port/8 PoE+ XMS-1208P. Both switches include PoE Self-Healing, which includes port Auto-Recovery and Power Scheduling, ensuring system reliability and uptime. For simple network expansion in larger installations, the AMS-1816P is equipped with two 10 Gigabit RJ-45/SFP+ combo ports, allowing for high-speed interconnection between SFP+ compatible Luxul switches. The XMS-1208P features two Gigabit RJ-45 ports and two SFP ports, which enable integrators to connect devices or additional switches via an Ethernet cable or a fiber-optic cable when using our new selection of copper and fiber SFP modules.
Finally, we introduced our new Wave 2, 4X4 MU-MIMO Access Point. The XAP-1610 AP is our most advanced, fastest, and most capable access point, and Luxul is the first CEDIA channel network provider to build it for our integrators.
MJ: Luxul is heavily promoting active roaming in its communications and social media efforts. Can you explain the benefits of active vs. passive roaming solutions in wireless networks?
MG: An active roaming solution can tell where each mobile device is on the network in relation to all the APs; if a device is moving further from the AP it’s connected to and getting closer to another, our wireless controller will send a command to the device telling it to drop the one and connect to the other.
Passive solutions leave it up to the mobile device to seek out a stronger WiFi signal, but usually it’s too late. By that time, the WiFi signal has already gotten too low and the device has experienced glitches. This happens because mobile devices are designed to conserve battery life, and performing a WiFi scan uses battery power. To avoid this usage, they become “sticky,” clinging to the AP they’re on in an attempt to continue getting service from it, even if there’s an AP within range that has full signal strength. Only when the device experiences failure does it perform a WiFi scan for a stronger AP.
The goal of the active solution is to have the device transition from one AP to another while there is good signal strength from both. It will do this much sooner than the device would on its own, so the in-between period of signal loss never happens, resulting in a WiFi connection that appears seamless.
MJ: We’ve seen a big investment in value-added programs for dealers in 2018. Can you tell us a bit more about the Luxul Customer Assurance Program you launched earlier in the year?
MG: We introduced a free service to our dealers called the Customer Assurance Program, or CAP, in response to the dramatic increase in everyday connected devices that depend on reliable networks.
To use the program, a dealer simply registers his project on our website—providing the plans of the site if he has them—then our sales engineers will design the full network based on the application. We will also provide a heatmap of the WiFi application, a network topology, the proposal with or without MSRP, and some educational pieces for the integrator to use with the client.
The program is supported by a guarantee to meet customers’ reliability and performance requirements relating to WiFi. Our advanced support team is also available to dealers requiring assistance configuring their certified networks, while any product experiencing a failure will be promptly replaced. If the wired or wireless network doesn’t perform as expected, we’ll provide any additional equipment to meet customers’ expectations at no additional cost.
Next week we talk to Mike even further about, the WiFi Assurance Program, dealer training and Luxul’s vendor partners!