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Juniper Networks Adds AI-driven Wi-Fi 6E Access Points

November 2, 2021

Juniper Networks introduced two new 6 GHz access points that leverage Mist AI to maximize Wi-Fi performance and capacity while simplifying IT operations. In addition, Juniper is introducing a new IoT Assurance service that streamlines and scales the onboarding and securing of IoT devices without Network Access Control (NAC). These enhancements to the Juniper wireless access portfolio further the company’s experience-first networking mission so that IT administrators can deliver the best network experiences to their end users.

“While it is relatively easy to support new standards like Wi-Fi 6E in hardware and to onboard a small number of IoT devices using pre-shared keys, Juniper has again put customers first by applying the proven benefits of Mist AI and the modern microservices cloud to these environments to deliver unparalleled performance, agility, ease and scale,” said Jeff Aaron, VP Enterprise Marketing. “From Day Zero installation through ongoing monitoring, management and troubleshooting of the network, Juniper continues to stand out for an experience-first approach to networking that delivers the best experiences for operators and end users from the client to the cloud.”

Bob Laliberte, Practice Director & Senior Analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group said, “Organizations are embracing hybrid work, forcing IT to rethink connectivity options across campus environments. In addition to supporting increased use of audio and video collaboration solutions, IoT devices are also in greater demand to ensure work place safety and security. As a result, complexity is growing rapidly. Juniper Networks’ new AI-enabled Wi-Fi 6E access points and IoT Assurance Service enable organizations to overcome those challenges and drive higher levels of operational efficiency.”

AI for 6E

Wi-Fi 6E is a new wireless standard that expands network capacity by making a larger amount of RF spectrum available in the 6 GHz range to add to the existing 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. To take full advantage of Wi-Fi 6E, Juniper is announcing two new tri-band access points (APs), managed via the same Mist cloud and AI engine as the rest of the Juniper Mist portfolio.

These include:

AP 45 – 2.4 GHz/5 GHz/6 GHz quad-radio, 4x4:4SS, vBLE array

AP 34 – 2.4 GHz/5 GHz/6 GHz quad-radio, 2x2:2SS, omni BLE

The new access points complement the existing 2.4- and 5-GHz APs currently in the Juniper Mist portfolio, which support both 802.11ac and 802.11ax protocols. All APs incorporate either Juniper’s patented virtualized Bluetooth LE or omnidirectional BLE antenna in addition to Wi-Fi to provide a wide range of location-based services in a scalable and cost effective manner.

Unlike competing Wi-Fi 6E solutions, the Juniper Mist solution incorporates rich client insights and AIOps to deliver optimized configurations, maximum performance and optimized packet scheduling for increased capacity. This is all achieved without sacrificing performance for older 2.4- and 5-GHz clients for maximum investment protection.

Secure IoT Onboarding in a NAC-less Environment

The new Juniper Mist IoT Assurance cloud service delivers one-stop IoT operations for enterprise customers, including policy assignments, segmentation, traffic engineering and key lifecycle management. Many IoT devices (such as cameras, smart locks, HVAC systems, wearables, sensors, MRI/CT/ultrasound machines, bed monitors and digital displays) do not support 802.1x, so they cannot be onboarded using traditional NAC solutions. Juniper solves this by enabling them to be onboarded at cloud scale using private pre-shared keys (PPSK) which can be easily set up and administered using a self-serve programmable cloud portal. By eliminating expensive third-party hardware and overlay software and enabling simple IoT onboarding via an intuitive cloud service, Juniper has tackled a common challenge to deliver an exceptional IoT experience to existing and future customers.

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