Wi-Fi has become king in the home with an ever-increasing number and type of devices connected to Wi-Fi. Today consumers experience their home broadband mostly though Wi-Fi. Home devices from Smart TVs, to game consoles and thermostats are connected mostly through Wi-Fi. Therefore, in the minds of consumers, Wi-Fi is broadband and vice versa and they will measure the quality of the broadband experience all the way to their devices.
As a result, service providers are pressured to take responsibility for the in-home Wi-Fi experience through some managed, organized and secure way. The proliferation of home devices will only increase the need for more managed Wi-Fi. Figures vary by region but in North America the average number of devices per home is already higher than 10 and will double in the next 4 years.
Another important factor is that delivering greater bandwidth alone is not enough anymore. As the bandwidth requirements increase exponentially with 4K video streaming, VR and online gaming, lower latency and stability are becoming essential requirements to enable a good quality of experience in the home.
Gigabit broadband is also forcing service providers to make home Wi-Fi better because clients who pay for higher broadband speeds will expect those same speeds on the device and in this context the emergence of Wi-Fi 6 will help provide more efficiency to the equation.
Historically, operators have had little visibility of what is happening in the Wi-Fi home network and, therefore, have been unable to diagnose and/or solve Wi-Fi-related issues. Furthermore, differentiation of Wi-Fi-related degradations from other causes of poor customer experience has also been problematic.
Therefore, the need for a solid home Wi-Fi foundation has never been so great. Unfortunately, a number of factors affect Wi-Fi performance and hence the quality of experience, not least, neighbor interference which is out of the hands of the home broadband operator. Often neighbors end up using the same channel creating avoidable congestion. As these neighbors share the same channel, the throughput for all users is greatly reduced.
So far, the main approach to solve the home Wi-Fi performance has been driven by the integration of additional software in the middleware gateway in hopes to address the issues of coverage and congestion. However, this approach has fallen short of addressing the issue of neighbor interference which requires a smart way to allocate channels. In this white paper, we present a novel device-centric way to solve the neighbor interference problem. This approach is location and application-aware and empowers users to take their Wi-Fi destiny into their own hands without having to rely on complex and lengthy decisions from their service providers. It is a mobile-managed approach which combines the power of cloud-based computing and artificial intelligence with the simplicity and elegance of a device application.