Wi-Fi systems oriented around a single router are known to provide patchy, inadequate coverage in some homes and small offices, based on the building’s size and construction. Until recently, users have had to find their own solutions using Wi-Fi extenders and/or HomePlugs.

In the USA, companies such as Eero, Luma and Google have launched multi-part systems that create a mesh network to provide good coverage throughout a building. According to claims by BT, its 3-in-1 Whole Home Wi-Fi is the first such product to be launched in the UK. Its three-device package is now available for £299.99.

Its self-configuring system can be installed and controlled using a smartphone app that helps users to find the optimum positions for the three small units. It also includes a traffic-monitoring dashboard that shows who is connected. The network automatically enables users to switch from disc to disc, depending on which one is giving out the best signal, as they move from room to room. The discs also include lights, though the brightness can be turned down or turned off altogether.

According to MediaTek, BT’s system uses the MediaTek Adaptive Network, which was introduced at Computex 2016 and shown at CES in Las Vegas earlier this month. The devices use a MediaTek MT7621 and two MT7615 chips, one each to provide support for concurrent 2.4GHz (800Mbps) and 5GHz (1733Mbps) operations.

Each device also has four antennas: two for each waveband.

Although it is not known who is manufacturing BT’s system, MediaTek, a Taiwanese integrated circuit design company, says:

We provide the hardware reference design with our IC and software to customers.

At £299.99, the system may be too expensive for most consumers, unless they are struggling with Wi-Fi problems. However, it could appeal to small businesses, because it’s so easy to set up. Larger businesses and hotels can, or may already have, installed mesh networks using equipment from firms like Ubiquiti or Open Mesh.

BT’s Whole Home Wi-Fi is being sold by BT and also by Currys and Maplins.


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