How to Finally Conquer Wi-Fi in the Home: Service Provider Style (2018)

By Nav Kannan & Charles Cheevers, ARRIS International plc

Service delivery over IP is now a reality, and in a home, most of these services are consumed with a wireless device. In addition, many of these services are overlays from Over-the-Top (OTT) content providers. service providers have to adapt to this changing world by being able to manage the optimal delivery of these services to the devices by offering “Wi-Fi” itself as a service, or they risk being relegated to the role of just the access provider, getting the bits in and out of the home at the point of termination, but having no control or even role in the distribution of the data inside the home. Wireless technology is inherently complicated and is also evolving at a more rapid pace than the access technologies that current cadence of device replacement for service providers. Retail devices are also now entering the market that are designed to cater for ease of use, coverage and rely typically on Multi Access Point S/W management and Mobile App to give the user features to manage connected devices. These devices offer consumers the promise of ease of set-up, manageability, and visibility, usually with the assistance of a mobile application. This is doubly painful for the service providers, in that they don’t get to participate in the commercial transaction of these retail devices, while sharing an unfair burden of having to answer for the “poor Internet service” should any of these retail devices not stand up to the promise that they were offered. An additional downside to these retail devices is that they will also inhibit the service provider to roll out new IP services that rely on being able to manage and touch all end devices. Retail APs often provide their own DHCP scope addresses and NAT out the service provider.

The challenges presented above may seem to portray any solution process as a daunting task. However, there is a way that the service provider can compete and in particular adding tools to their arsenal to take advantage of and take control of the Wi-Fi in the home.

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