Enhancing Wi-Fi QoE With Targeted Approach (2018)

By Bart Vercammen & Jos Delbar, Technicolor

A subscriber’s Wi-Fi quality of experience (QoE) has been an industry focus for many years. On the CPE side, the approach has long been to increase the MIMO configurations with each generation as well as to maximize the power budget by using better components, to provide maximum coverage at adequate speeds from a single access point location.

Now, as the industry pivots towards access point disaggregation, by adding Wi-Fi extenders in multiple locations in the home, we must find a way to deploy these additional devices in CAPEX and OPEX efficient ways. Typically, multiple access points immediately trigger a quest for the best roaming solution.

However, Technicolor believes this is a misplaced area of focus, firstly because an extender is often not a solution to the problem, on the contrary. It is imperative to first proactively determine which households will actually benefit from an extender, allowing a Service Provider (SP) to better plan its CAPEX investments. Secondly, these roaming solutions will commoditize over time, as standardization increases and client devices (STAs)1 implement better roaming algorithms and standardization increases.

Technicolor recommends a five-step plan to allow a Service Provider to further enhance a subscriber’s Wi-Fi QoE, in CAPEX and OPEX strategic and efficient ways:

  1. Diagnostics: Create Wi-Fi QoE visibility into your installed base.
  2. RRM (Radio Resource Management): Optimize the installed base. Technicolor has field data from millions of devices that shows how effective RRM/SON (Self Optimizing Networks) activity can substantially reduce OPEX cost thanks to increased QoE.
  3. CAPEX strategies: The ability to target specific older gateways models whose replacement would significantly improve subscribers’ QoE, as well as proactively identifying subscribers who can benefit from extenders.
  4. Self-installation: Deploying solutions that are zero touch, combined with the right security, are essential to drive mass market adoption without the need for professional installation.
  5. Client steering: Finally, for the percentage of subscribers requiring multiple access points,effective steering solutions provide additional capacity and provide the final boost to a yet higher QoE.
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