November 30, 2020

Wi-Fi Excellence: Everything Starts From The Gateway

With the advent of the new Wi-Fi6 and EasyMesh standards, consumers are now given the means to build strong wireless home coverage, answering a long-awaited expectation.

With the advent of the new Wi-Fi6 and EasyMesh standards, consumers are now given the means to build strong wireless home coverage, answering a long-awaited expectation. On one side, EasyMesh has made the installation of Wi-Fi extenders a plug and play solution while, on the other hand, the new Wi-Fi6 standard allows for drastic improvement to the performance and quality of the WLAN in dense environments – i.e. when several people are using multiple connected devices or streaming content at the same time.

As many operators who want to surf on the Wi-Fi problem-solving wave, you may be tempted to follow the trend by proposing a wireless extender solution to your subscribers. But this alone cannot be the miraculous solution to all Wi-Fi issues. Indeed, a bad Wi-Fi experience must be first and foremost diagnosed at the root cause, i.e. at the main gateway level. In other words, if your home gateway delivers suboptimal Wi-Fi performance, the extender will just connect to a weak signal and will not resolve the issue. This will not stop user dissatisfaction, even worse it could lead to more churn as people find themselves complaining more than once about the same issue – once when having a problem, and then again for a solution that does not solve this problem.

So you need to ensure you invest in a robust Wi-Fi home gateway. Yes, it may represent a slightly higher initial cost, but return on investment is immediate. As an example, during customer field test of Wi-Fi management software embedded into Technicolor’s gateways, it has been proven a 30% reduction of helpdesk calls about Wi-Fi issues. Robust Wi-Fi home gateways make your subscribers happier and savings are real compared to penalties when customers churn and create negative buzz around your brand.

Still, some OEM vendors develop cheap Wi-Fi gateways very easily and quickly. Most of the time they would just copy the reference design of the chipset manufacturer and paste that into their gateway providing in appearance a great time to market vs price ratio. On the other hand, premium Wi-Fi gateways require more work, more time, more R&D engineers working on differentiated Wi-Fi antenna design and location, radio selection, filtering, noise reduction and signal path optimization. On top of that, all these parameters are unique to every design. This means they need to be tested, adjusted, and optimized if you want a bespoke product design. This may mean some incremental cost, but it is critical to ensuring the best performance is achieved.

One way to lower this cost is to select a Technicolor off-the-shelf Wi-Fi gateway design that is field proven as other operator customers have already made this choice.

Whatever the choice of the solution, Technicolor goes to extreme lengths, through its test facilities, to ensure its premium Wi-Fi home gateways are fully optimized and tested before launch.

In addition to hardware optimization, Wi-Fi management software is also a key factor for delivering best-in-class Wi-Fi home gateways. Today you can proactively manage and improve in-home wireless performance, to ensure the best possible experience for your users, with a software suite embedded in your gateways (and in your extenders as well). This is yet another value added feature for a premium Wi-Fi gateway, allowing your teams to remotely monitor wireless service and effectively diagnose problems at the subscribers’ home, and then quickly resolve them – sometimes before they arise.

Once you have clear visibility into your subscribers’ home network, you can leverage insight from existing gateways to clearly understand and maximize wireless usage -- not only taking into account the subscribers’ devices, but also adjacent residences in which other devices might cause interference.

With premium hardware and intelligent Wi-Fi management software, you already have a higher performing solution to solve the most common Wi-Fi issues, at a controlled cost. A cheap Wi-Fi gateway coupled with a Wi-Fi extender will cost much more than spending a few additional dollars for a best-in-class Wi-Fi gateway. Then once the foundation of your subscribers’ wireless LAN is secured, you can propose additional Wi-Fi extenders for those who live in bigger houses, with several floors and thick walls.

Should you want to know more about maximizing your Wi-Fi performance to avoid churn and increase customer loyalty, while reducing your TCO (Total cost of ownership) please contact your local Technicolor representative.