Using BlackBerry and PlayBook Devices with MERU VirtualCell 802.11 Networks

Article ID: KB29037

Type: Support Content

Last Modified: 04-25-2012


Product(s) Affected:

  • BlackBerry PlayBook tablets
  • BlackBerry 7 OS and earlier
  • MERU products with "VirtualCell" enabled
  • BlackBerry® PlayBook® and BlackBerry® smartphone products with 802.11 networking capability
Customers using BlackBerry® smartphone or BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet devices with Wi-Fi® networking may experience issues connecting to MERU Access Points with MERU's "VirtualCell" featured enabled.
BlackBerry devices mostly employ passive site survey scanning to find and connect to candidate access points, where possible.

MERU's VirtualCell technology assumes connecting devices will exclusively rely on connection data furnished from solicited probe responses to connect to their wireless equipment.

VirtualCell on MERU equipment generates a unique BSSID (Base Station Identifier) for each unique station sending a probe request, which differs from the standard fixed BSSID transmitted by base stations separately within beacons.

Two existing workarounds exist for this issue currently:

  • Do not use MERU's VirtualCell feature on any networks intended for use with existing BlackBerry Smartphone or PlayBook Devices
  • Use only hidden SSID's configurations with VirtualCell enabled base stations. Configure all Playbook and BlackBerry devices with a manual connection profile with the hidden SSID specified

CollapseAdditional Information
Contact MERU for more details on configuration details. There is an existing MERU Knowledge Base article available for this issue presently.


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