Qualcomm Wi-Fi SON or Self-Organizing Network is a way to make all the router, Wi-Fi enabled devices, Wi-Fi extenders to work seamlessly in one big house. This project came from years of research that resulted with comprehensive set of innovations that greatly simplifies home Wi-Fi networking, providing much improved user experience and optimized whole home connectivity.
A simpler way of saying this is that the SON will self-configure, self-manage, self-defend and even self-heal. Fudzilla had a chance to see some demos at CES 2016 and D-Link was one of the first companies to come up with a product. We were privileged to talk with Prakash Sangam, Director of Technical Marketing and Tim McCarthy, the Senior Director of Product Management about Wi-Fi SON and range of Wi-Fi related topics. Qualcomm has been working for a while to create SON - a Self-Organizing Network.
The best example of Qualcomm SON would be a big multi-story house that cannot be covered by one router. Each modern Wi-Fi router comes with 2.4GHz old and 5 GHz new frequency and supports a range of standards including 802.11a, b, g, n and the latest ac with MU-MIMO. A normal customer doesn’t really have any clue what that this all mean, but wants its iPhone or Android phone, tablet or PC to simply connect to Wi-Fi and work quickly.
You can plug a router near to your cable modem and plug another extender on another floor and plug as many extenders as you need. Some Wi-Fi router manufacturers have already started selling router kits where you get a router and two extenders. With Qualcomm Wi-FI SON the network will self-configure and start working after a short setup. This part works like magic as you don’t need an IT guy to do it, everyone who can unbox a TV set can set up this network.
The magical part is that the Wi-Fi SON will monitor activities on 2.4GHz - most of old routers and your neighbours use them - and activities in not so crowded 5 GHz. If things get crowded at 2.4GHz, the SON will seamlessly transport your device to the 5GHz band, it will simply work and your Wi-Fi will get faster. if your neighbour gets a new router or simply a new Wi-Fi device, that changes the whole perspective, and the network will reconfigure to suit the changes.
The self-healing part will help to find alternate connection paths in multi-router networks or those taking advantage of range extenders. The SON will connect your device to another extender if there is a lot of traffic at the one you are using, again seamlessly and you would not even know. The end result is that Wi-Fi speed is faster.
The self-defending part will look for suspicions behaviour and block them. The recent example of the hacked lightbulb explains a lot. You simply would not let the lightbulb access the main PC storage or any critical device.
We had a chance to see all this in a demo and it works like a charm, and commercial devices are already available. You should look for the routers and extenders with select QCA99xx or IPQ40xx SoC. The ones we saw were from D-link but we will get you the whole list. It works like magic Your Wi-Fi will work better and faster than before without you having to fiddle with any settings.
There is a nice video that explains SON in details too.