April 29, 2019

How NSPs Can Successfully Manage the Challenges of Providing Seamless Multi-User Gigabit Services in the Home

By Geert Matthys, Vice President, Product Management, Technicolor Connected Home

As the number of devices in the home continues to rise each year, NSPs face the challenge of maintaining consistent high-quality wireless connectivity within consumers’ homes. By 2021, the average end user is projected to have between four and six connected devices. Given an average household of 3 to 4 people, along with the proliferation of Internet of Things (IoT) devices that require wireless access to the Internet, the risk of interference and wireless congestion that adversely affects the consumer experience will rise exponentially.

To deal with this reality requires both bandwidth strength and network intelligence. A strong and stable radio path is needed to support high speeds across the residence, while making sure there is no interference from other devices that may utilize the same frequency. This requires gateways and extenders to have enough intelligence to balance and prioritize connectivity to devices. This is critically important given that different types of traffic have a higher level of sensitivity to delays than others. Any lag, for instance, during a voice or video call can negatively affect the customer experience. Gaming, in particular, is highly sensitive to latency.

Moreover, the proliferation of IoT devices — most of which do not have any kind of antivirus or security measures — introduces risks that also should be addressed by smart customer premises equipment (CPE) as part of a value-added managed service offered by forward thinking NSPs.

The Future of Wi-Fi Services in the Home

As operators consider their options for delivering an effective managed wireless service in the home, Technicolor believes that four key pillars must be built to achieve success.

  • A distributed architecture that integrates a central gateway along with extenders placed throughout the home — the number of which will depend on the size of the residence, typically 1 or 2.
  • Ensure that access points interact effectively with the wide variety of devices seeking internet connection through wireless networks by investing in Wi-Fi 6 technology specifically designed to support the higher data rates and increased capacity needed in complex connected home environments.
  • Put in place a centrally managed roaming solution based on the Wi-Fi Alliance’s open standard architecture. This will play a critical role in supporting in-home wireless performance. (Technicolor has made a major commitment to this community as evidenced by our recent decision to donate our EasyMesh agent to the open source software community).
  • Implement an intelligent diagnostics solution that not only allows NSPs to actively monitor a home’s Wi-Fi health, but also provides the means of resolving problems that arise.

All these elements together will allow NSPs to offer subscribers a seamless multi-user Wi-Fi service.

Partnering for Comprehensive Solution

The vision outlined above cannot be offered by any single vendor. It can only truly be enabled through an ecosystem of providers consisting of chip manufacturers, application developers, specialized equipment vendors and other market leaders.

Technicolor has put together an integrated team of best-in-class innovators — under the auspices of our recently announced HERO Partnership Program — to help NSPs deliver the most innovative broadband access technologies, premium content experiences and managed Wi-Fi services in the industry.

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