I disagree enormously.
1. Mikrotik's hardware already supports everything that it needs to offer a considerably better product. Have a look at frequency monitor and wireless snooper - in relation to frequencies, noise floors, signal strength, channel usage etc.
2. There is no need to monitor the signal strength at the client side. Using the best signal around the access point is good enough, and light years better than what is currently implemented.
3. "Quality of the signal (S/N ratio) and thus connection rate. Same issue as signal strength." Already available on Mikrotik.
4. So what if clients move, you choose a channel based on the AP not on the clients that might be moving around. Otherwise you would have to constantly change channel. A lot of installation are fixed installations as well.
5. Neighboring AP's and client devices - yes there are blind node issues. But if the Mikrotik looks at the CCQ as well as the factors mentioned above it can switch channel and find a better channel that is not congested. Again light years better than what is has now.
6. Wow, so you scan once every 3 months in 2018? WiFi channels and their performance change hourly, and you need to move quickly to adjust.
7. I prefer to resolve issues before my customers have to call.
Mikrotik has all the features it needs to offer a considerably better auto-channel selection. In fact in just a few hours I've scripted up a considerably better algorithm which we'll switch over to shortly. I feel for the other Mikrotik customers who can't write their own scripts.
Might well be that MT already has these raw tools. But to make an intelligent AP that based upon the info found in these tools and taken in a continuous process, needs apart from a second radio (or use of a chain that is underused) an intelligent OS plus probably a bit better hardware just to make the comparisons and calculations happening. And due the variable nature of all that data as such we also need to build a history (=memory) so the OS can make decisions based upon time of the day etc. All this 'intelligence' is going to need hardware too. This simple fact alone will drive prices up.
I hardly use these tools anyway since it's not even accurate. Frequency monitor sometimes doesn't see Wifi radio I know they are there or it 'sees' frequency use while a scan doesn't reveal anything.
Apart from all that, the freq monitor only 'sees' the center ("pilot") frequency. It doesn't tell me if a channel is 5, 10, 20, 40 or 80Mhz wide. So in fact it has little use.
So all these tools could well be bond in a 'ultimate' AP but it will drive the price up to beeing 'high end' or beyond and probably the bulk of buyers will not be able or willing to pay for that...
2. How come signal at the client is not important? It is THE most important factor. If the client has poor signal than it has poor conn. rate and thus poor throughput. If there are other signals around the S/N will be bad too with a low signal. So yes, for clients signal is one of the most important items. Now it differs if we work with a fixed network with fixed antennas. Here we won't see a lot of difference in the strength of the signals apart from maybe atmospheric or weather phenomena s. But MT AP must also work as 'Hotspot' alike function where devices from other manufacturers and/or mobile moving CPE's are the clients. An intelligent AP cannot start changing channel to make things good for one device if that means another one will deteriorate.... It would need a highly sophisticated AP that can decide what is the best radio parameter setting to service most clients best in an ever changing environment. (Amount of clients versus data usage versus interference versus S/N ratio etc. etc.) It needs an AP that builds a sort of 3D spectral dimension for all its connected clients 'on the fly' while at the same time supplying and receiving data....pffff
3. And therefore the same issues.
4. Not an issue at fixed networks, a BIG issue in networks with moving, coming and going clients. Mikrotik, like all others, need to serve both worlds.
5. CCQ is a percentage measured on the combination of time plus data(loss). High data transport over weak to moderate signals often give better CCQ's then almost idle connections. To distill a good working decision process based on that needs again a lot of intelligence as mentioned under 1.
6. We have a fixed network with 40+ AP's and some 30 back hauls in an area with at least twice as much of the same from other providers and most of these channels are 'visible' for each other. But luckily most radio's don't change a lot of frequency channel so usually we monitor the network and act on basis of client calls about poor performance. My 'once every 3 months' is more an educated guess since some AP's and links work fine and for years are at the same frequency but other need a much more regular adjustment. Every update cycle of the ROS we also randomly check if a chosen frequency and or bandwidth and or protocol (NV2 sucks usually, Nstreme works best sometimes, 802.11 works in 60% of our cases best) is still the best for that AP/Backhaul.
But this all is time consuming and client disturbing (all the 'tools' MT has break the connections unless its 802.11) and just too much for a small business as us. So we have to act on 'ad hock' monitoring. No other way of doing it unless you can throw a truck load of more resources into it...
I think we represent the bulk of the clients in the WiFi-WISP industry in that respect.
7. Me too. Like I have more dreams... Reality is a bit more different.
And too be honest, I think while we work in a very complicated environment with the many radio's in the very limited Wifi (5Ghz) band, we are doing the same or better then the competition. With our simple MT hardware tools and our simple brain.
75% of the issues clients have is 2,4Ghz home wifi related and here the issue is even more unsolvable. Even main ISP's struggle with that issue since this is a market where no client want's to spend on Wifi routers thus the provider provides and goes economic.
We have a part of our network running mimosa and they have their G2 Wifi router for indoor use. As a rare example they have continuous channel scan and change to get the best results but it doesn't work very well. With their limited antenna and radio gain they not seldom lose the battle against the cheap 1,5-3dBi antena high power 30dB radio devices supplied by the standard provider. These G2 wifi units already cost triple or more then the standard Wifi for the extra technology but it has to bow its head against raw unlimited power in many instances.
So my point is, to get the ultimate wifi AP that can beat all nowadays issue it needs a highly intelligent device with a lot more hardware power to get there. I know a company like Ruckus and Cisco (and some others probably) trying to work in that direction but even they haven't found the holy grail in Wifi yet....
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Rudy R. Puister
WISP operator based on MT routerboard & ROS.