Nokia Banks on Whole-Home WiFi

Deepening its reach into the growing whole-home WiFi market, Nokia has reached a deal to acquire Unium, a U.S.-based maker of WiFi mesh technology.

Financial terms were not announced, but Nokia expects to close the deal in Q1 2018.

Founded in 2002, Unium is based in Seattle and has raised at least $26.7 million in funding, according to CrunchBase. TechCrunch reports that Google Fiber is among Unium’s known customers.

Nokia is integrating Unium’s software into its home WiFi products to provide a wireless mesh that reaches into all corners of the home alongside a management system that measures wireless performance in real-time and uses that data to improve the home network’s coverage and capacity.

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In tandem with the acquisition announcement, Nokia introduced a new whole-home WiFi platform that includes meshed WiFi gateways and beacons that utilize Unium’s software, along with a WiFi Home Portal offering for service providers.

With the acquisition and product launch, Nokia is amplifying its focus on a part of the market that has become a higher priority for cable operators and ISPs and opened the door to other vendors that specialize in whole-home WiFi equipment and software, including eero, AirTies, Arris, Plume, Netgear and Linksys, among others.

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Federico Guillén, president of Nokia's Fixed Networks business group, said: "We look forward to having the Unium team join us. The home networking market is booming and whole-home Wi-Fi is a key enabler for this.

“Today's Wi-Fi solutions still have serious issues with sticky clients, interference, coverage gaps and capacity issues,” Federico Guillén, president of Nokia's Fixed Networks business group, said  in a statement. “With Unium inside, our Nokia Wi-Fi solution will deliver an unmatched user experience, going beyond what standard mesh Wi-Fi solutions deliver today."