It sometimes takes little to bring followers of Free news to a boil. When the Freebox Delta was released, many of them were moved by the absence of an “intelligent” Wi-Fi system in the operator’s new high-end box. Under this pompous name hides in fact the possibility for the server box to set up a mesh Wi-Fi system, otherwise called mesh.
Wi-Fi mesh systems use a master box and one or more small satellite boxes. The idea is to avoid using Wi-Fi repeaters to obtain satisfactory wireless coverage in large or difficult housing. The satellites and the router communicate with each other transparently, sometimes on a dedicated Wi-Fi link, sometimes via Ethernet (backhaul). This type of system is particularly effective, attest to the good results obtained by the Netgear Orbi 50 – a benchmark in the field – when it passed through our laboratory.
The news of the day is that the Swiss operator Salt is now offering such an option for its Fiber Box. The satellites, offered as an option under the name of Smart WiFi Extender, can communicate with each other and with the router in wireless mode or via Ethernet – the second solution being the most durable, but requires network sockets in the different rooms. Compatible with Wi-Fi 5, this system achieves maximum theoretical speeds of 2.5 Gb / s.
What does this have to do with the Freebox Delta? Simply the fact that Salt has already served as a test laboratory for Xavier Niel, whose holding NJJ Capital owns the company. Thus, the 10 Gb / s fiber had been launched in preview at Salt before arriving at Free. Specialized media such as Univers Freebox estimate that the arrival of a mesh Wi-Fi system on the Freebox Delta can now make sense, recalling that Xavier Niel had promised three major changes to its high-end offer. The first evolution was the arrival of virtual machines, the second the addition of Amazon Prime in the subscription. The third is therefore still pending.