Juniper Networks’ New Wi-Fi6E APs, Mist AI-Powered Services A ‘Completely Different’ Approach, Not An Evolution

The networking giant unveiled two new Wi-Fi6E-capable access points, an IoT Assurance Service and Support Insights that are helping Juniper continue to pull away from its competition, according to one Juniper partner.


Juniper Networks has unveiled three new AI-powered offerings to make network operations simpler and more secure and scalable for partners and end customers, according to the company.

Juniper on Tuesday introduced two new Wi-Fi 6E-capable access points (APs), the first Wi-Fi6E offering from the company. The AP45 combines virtual Bluetooth LE (vBLE) technology of Juniper’s existing AP43 to the 6 GHz band for enterprises that need enhanced location services. Meanwhile, the new AP34 includes omnidirectional Bluetooth antenna technology to automate network operation and boost Wi-Fi performance for devices on the network, Juniper said.

Wi-Fi6E (extended), also known as 802.11ax, operates in the 6GHz band which was opened in 2020 by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for unlicensed use in the United States. The new APs will give businesses more capacity and increased channel width, said Christian Gilby, Juniper Mist‘s product marketing leader.

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[Related: Juniper Networks’ Rami Rahim: ‘We’re Taking Share’ With ‘Significant,’ Growing Software Business]

The two new APs join Juniper’s existing 2.4/5 GHz APs, which support both 802.11ac and 802.11ax protocols. All APs are managed via Juniper’s Mist cloud and AI platform.

Juniper’s cloud-managed wireless technology stands out in the crowded market because it was built with AI from the ground up, rather than being an evolution of existing premise-based technology, said David Raftery, chief customer officer for Integration Partners, a Lexington, Mass.-based Juniper partner that targets large enterprise and public sector customers.

“Juniper has taken a completely different approach with leveraging AI and automation and actually predicting what [customers] needs are, what the requirements are, and where they may or may not have problems. That’s just completely unique,” he said. “Most other AI-driven networks have AI as a bolt on, where this is really the core of the solution.”

Raftery said Juniper’s new Wi-Fi6E technology is a great fit for warehousing, public safety, and healthcare use cases. “Having this expanded capability and solution set is a great opportunity for our customers to continue to evolve to meet the ever-changing demands of what their customers need and what their business requires,” he said.

The Mist platform behind Juniper’s wireless technology is what differentiates the company’s technology from the competition because of the insights it provides around configuration and performance, said Juniper Networks’ CEO Rami Rahim (pictured above).

“Mist is taking off like a rocket ship right now,” Rahim told CRN. Juniper Mist is API-driven, so partners can integrate their own applications and services into the platform for their end customers, he said.

Juniper in addition to the APs introduced its new cloud-based IoT Assurance service that scales the onboarding and securing of IoT devices and BYOD without Network Access Control (NAC) by instead using Private Pre-Shared Key (PPSK) security. IoT Assurance works alongside the Mist cloud to gives businesses insights into the devices on their network.

“We’re stoked, it’s a big deal and we’re excited about the opportunities that lie ahead with [IoT Assurance],” said Sudheer Matta, Juniper’s vice president, product line management, AI-Driven Enterprise, during Juniper’s virtual 2021 Global Analyst, Influencer, and Media Summit.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Juniper also announced the public launch of Support Insights for some of its largest customers. The AI-powered solution was designed for “holistic visibility” and insights across the entire Junos operating system. Juniper Support Insights simplifies connecting Junos-based customer platforms to the Juniper cloud. From there, data can then be collected and turned into actionable insights for improved network efficiency, the company said.

Support Insights has been “run through all kinds of security audits,” making it a highly-secure platform for Juniper’s customers, some of which are the largest companies in the world, said Derrell James, executive vice president, customer experience, for Juniper.

“It‘s not just the data for us, it’s giving the data to our customers, so they can monitor their network, so they can make changes so they can be smart,” James said.