Juniper Networks is rolling out four new Mist AI-powered, Wi-Fi 6-enabled access points that will help partners address new use cases being driven by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The latest additions to Juniper‘s Wi-Fi portfolio target outdoor use cases for businesses that are now operating outside their four walls, remote workers, and small businesses that need to be mindful of costs right now, according to Christian Gilby, Juniper’s senior director of product marketing.
“The value here is helping partners and customers address more verticals,” Gilby said.
The four latest 802.11ax—also known as Wi-Fi 6—access points include the AP63, a high-performance option for outdoor environments that can handle extreme weather conditions and temperatures. This access point also offers location-based services via a vBLE antenna. The AP63 will help educational institutions or medical facilities as they extend connectivity out into their parking lots or campuses, Gilby said.
The second option—the AP33 model—was designed for moderate-density locations and accurate location services, such as small enterprise offices, retail locations, schools or medical clinics and also includes an integrated vBLE antenna. For basic location services via an omni vBLE antenna and connectivity at a lower price, Juniper offers the AP32, which is a good fit for remote workers, smaller offices or educational institutions. The AP33 and AP32 are great cost-to-performance options for a coffee shop or distributed branch office location that don‘t have hundreds of users, Gilby said.
Lastly, the AP12 wall plate form factor can connect multiple devices and was designed for hotel rooms, dorm rooms or home workers, according to Juniper. The vendor is ramping up “heavily” in the higher-education vertical and has seen a lot of demand for compact Wi-Fi access point options for dorms, Gilby said.
The new series of access points is an extension of the vendor‘s Wi-Fi portfolio, joining Juniper Mist’s flagship AP43 Wi-Fi 6 access point in the lineup.
The access points help round out Juniper‘s portfolio, especially for business users who are employing the AP43 to work from home right now, Gilby said. “From a cost perspective, [the AP43] is not the ideal access point. The AP12 or AP32 might be a better option,” he said. ”We’re trying to fit that cost point for people working remotely because the problem today is deploying and troubleshooting consumer access points.”
The new access points include AI from Mist Systems, which Juniper acquired in 2019. The access points are integrated with the Juniper Mist Wi-Fi Assurance cloud service for automated WLAN configuration, AIOps and anomaly detection.
Juniper partners can take advantage of the vendor‘s Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technology to accomplish proximity and contact tracing services, which are highly sought-after features right now across many verticals and are driving new deals through the channel, Gilby said.
“For partners, it’s providing a bit more of an upsell opportunity around professional services,” he said. ”We used to sell to the IT buyer, now we are seeing a lot of interest from employee health and safely teams or facilities to use these products to reduce [COVID-19 transmission] risks as people go back to campuses.“
Juniper in July introduced its new WAN Assurance Service and a virtual network assistant (VNA) conversational interface powered by Marvis, VNA technology developed by Mist Systems. The new service ties together LAN, WLAN and now WAN management across any IT location, including the campus and the home office, according to the company.