As the telecom industry races to provide products and services that improve home Wi-Fi network speed and coverage for consumers, the Dutch tech company Gamgee designed a solution that (remotely) upgrades routers, gateways and home nodes of various vendors and chipsets into mesh nodes.
Poor Wi-Fi performance and insufficient network coverage are some of the biggest pain points in consumers’ smart homes. As the internet and data consumption at home is growing exponentially, an increasing number of consumers encounter difficulties with poor network connectivity and troublesome installation and operation of their smart devices.
The new smart age triggers issues that inspire the emergence of brand new solutions. Over the past years, we have witnessed an influx of new products on the market that promise better connectivity and digital experience for consumers at home, from extenders and signal repeaters to the latest networking technology known as Mesh. Mesh – yet still not quite popularized – is an integrated home network that consists of multiple separate network nodes, each acting as an individual router. Once efficiently located around the house, consumers are supposed to get better network speed and coverage in every corner of their household.
The Mesh market potential is currently being compared to that of a gold mine with an estimated growth to US$ 6 billion by 2026. Suprisingly, the current uptake of Mesh by consumers has yet been slow. Studies has shown that despite the fact that 40% of consumers are interested in improving their home Wi-Fi, only 4% adopt a Mesh solution. What is behind this?
Working with broadband and wireless consumers for several decades, Paul Hendriks – the former CTO and CIO of market leader Ziggo in Netherlands and now CEO and co-founder of Gamgee – estimates that the key to success is to first listen to consumers’ actual needs and then offer a tailored solution.
“A lot of operators and hardware/chipset vendors assume that all consumers need is a better network speed and coverage. And they are not wrong. But there is much more to it than that,” explains Paul.
“Consumers also want a smooth, effortless and protected interaction with their smart home ecosystem. They simply want it to work – and quite often it doesn’t.”
The major problem Paul sees in the contemporary mesh solutions is that they are tied to one vendor whose unique chipset standards make it, purposely or not, difficult to establish interaction with other devices of different vendors and chipset standards, or even with new products from the same vendor.
“Claiming the whole area of a consumer’s smart home by one vendor may look like a smart business move, but it isn’t – by nature, this works against a consumer who wants to have the liberty to opt for a solution or a service of the best fit and value. The current monopolisation of smart homes pushes consumers to purchase devices of a specific brand just to make their smart home function properly – and their life easier,” illustrates Paul.
Releasing the vendor lock-in and enabling interoperability is according to Paul the imminent step in the evolution of smart homes. And so he decided to lead the change.
Together with his Amsterdam-based Gamgee team, Paul created PureMesh – a software solution that upgrades home routers, gateways and extenders into enterprise-grade mesh nodes, granting them the ability to communicate and interact with all connected devices on the consumer’s network – regardless of the vendor, chipset or access technology.
PureMesh changes the contemporary mesh paradigm by enabling networks that consist of multi-vendor and chipset devices yet manageable and operable from one place in a mobile app.
“The solution is unlike any other mesh solution on the market as it is software-only, deployable remotely on any hardware – new or already installed in a consumer’s home, and allows synchronisation of various chipset models and prototypes,” adds Paul.