September 18, 2017

High-Quality “Always On” Wi-Fi: An Emerging Imperative for Network Service Providers Around the World

Irvind Ghai, Vice President of Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

Consumer expectations for continuous connectivity across a range of devices in the home are elevating the importance for network service providers (NSPs) to offer robust “always on” Wi-Fi services in the home.

People around the world have become accustomed to constantly consuming content and services on smart phones and tablets. This is creating demand for in-home Wi-Fi connectivity that is both pervasive and resilient.

As a result, there is a utility-like expectation for Wi-Fi performance. Consumers want an “always on” Wi-Fi experience throughout the entire home – not just a portion of the home.

The demand is manifesting itself in a variety of ways.

A growing percentage of inbound help-desk and customer-service calls to NSPs are caused by issues related to Wi-Fi performance. And when NSPs are not able to address in-home wireless connectivity concerns, consumers have demonstrated no reluctance to look for solutions elsewhere -- often to the detriment of the service provider.

Users can always go into the retail channel to buy products available from different OEM’s. The thing is that the issue does not go away. Subscribers will still call the service provider when they have wireless performance challenges, which makes the support burden worse because the service provider lacks visibility into what’s happening on the network.

By contrast, NSPs that implement a proactive approach to deploying in-home infrastructures for high-quality, “always on” Wi-Fi service have an opportunity to generate revenue, reduce consumer frustrations – and possibly bring down customer churn. Many service providers are now evaluating the new type of multi-node mesh systems that dramatically improve Wi-Fi coverage throughout a home. Offering this as an option may help retain subscribers experiencing slow connections or dead spots, while providing more resilient connectivity for additional services down the road.

NSPs can bypass a lot of headaches by offering their own solutions, using equipment that’s prequalified in their network to improve the experience. It also creates an opportunity to establish an environment in which the NSPs can capture and retain valuable analytic data about usage trends that they would miss if Wi-Fi from a third-party solution is in their subscribers’ homes.

Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, is very closely engaged with the industry – including IEEE and other standards groups -- because we believe it is the best way to move the industry forward.

However, we also work with OEM’s like Technicolor to define additional value added solutions -- above and beyond the standards -- that are designed to improve the user experience so that NSPs are motivated and confident in pushing new differentiating technologies and services to their subscribers.

Editor’s Note: Listen to Qualcomm’s Irvind Ghai discuss additional details about Wi-Fi and value added solutions in the embedded podcasts.