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Doing Our Part: Supporting #Coronavirusmakers in Madrid to Manufacture Supplies for Hospitals and Healthcare Workers

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, hospitals and healthcare workers are facing a critical shortage of masks, protective gear, and other components needed to save lives. In Spain, a group of technology volunteers is filling the gap. Coronavirusmakers is a volunteer organization comprised of 16,000 researchers, developers, engineers, and makers who are manufacturing respirator adaptors for ICUs, visors, masks, and other emergency medical supplies using plastic materials, and their 3D printers, along with other 3D printers donated by ASSIA and other technology companies.

Stefan Schiller, Testing Engineer at ASSIA is an active member of the CV19 FUENCARRAL – EL PARDO district Coronavirusmakers located in Madrid. The group has over 160 volunteers making anti-splash visors, ear protectors, and respirator adaptors using 3D printers at home.

The makers design, manufacture, and administer all of the logistics for collecting and distributing raw and sanitary materials required for production. They also welcome feedback from healthcare staff and adapt finished products to their needs.

6000 protective supplies already delivered

Coronavirusmakers has delivered more than 6000 protective pieces of gear to date. They have produced over 250 anti-splash visors daily for use in hospitals including La Paz, Ramón y Cajal, Ruber, Quiron and multiple nursing homes, health centers, supermarkets, post offices, pharmacies and other commodity stores all over Madrid.

Coronavirusmakers Chronology

  • 9 March: First Telegram group (channel to keep subscribers updated on COVID-19)
  • 12 March: 5000 makers organize in communities, provinces, cities, and districts.
  • 18 March: The first large set of visors produced
  • 25 March: Over 15,000 people subscribe to the Telegram groups.
  • 29 March: Delivered more than 350,000 visors nationwide

Increasing production and velocity

ASSIA is proud to support this incredible movement to save lives and promote safety and continuity. We have donated both plastic materials and 3D printers for the effort.

Schiller projects that with Assia’s plastic donation, makers will be able to produce 6000 more anti-splash screens and manufacture them in almost half the time. Once the pandemic is over, the group plans to donate the 3D printers to schools, youth centers, fab labs, and other makers who need them.

“I want to emphasize that this is a completely altruistic initiative,” stated Schiller. “None of us charges anything. We just want to help where we can.”


Visibility, Quality, Efficiency: What Service Providers Gain with GPON Expresse®

Alberto Tellado
VP of Sales Southern Europe, Latin America

Posted on May 4, 2020

Service providers are experiencing traffic patterns and service issues as a result of the almost worldwide lockdown and the working-from-home trend. Higher volumes of data traffic and different usage patterns, such as a 30% increase in uplink traffic, have made it even more important to monitor and address network issues before they impact delivery.

Impact on the Access Network Due to Work-from-Home Requirements

ASSIA has tracked data flows on different networks, and in different countries with varying isolation practices, since the beginning of the pandemic.

wifi

Following is a summary of the ways our technology supports reliability and service delivery for customers now, and in the future.

More Visibility, Less Complexity

GPON ExpresseⓇ is a copper-fiber access management platform that allows a seamless transition from managed copper (DSL/Vectoring) to fiber, using the same infrastructure. Along with the Expresse products, GPON Expresse simplifies the complexity of managing the network with a unified, software-defined solution to monitor, diagnose, and address network issues. Service providers and operators, like CenturyLink and Telefonica, trust GPON Expresse to manage their networks proactively and with proven accuracy.

Congestion, weak system configurations, or faulty lines, network performance issues can have multiple causes. Without a unified, software-defined solution to manage service quality, providers incur higher operating costs such as extra service calls, truck dispatches, and unnecessary replacement of hardware.

Unlike other solutions on the market today, GPON Expresse offers:

  1. Continuous and real-time measurement, testing, diagnostics, and analysis.
  2. AI-driven diagnostics and optimization that improve network reliability and performance.
  3. The ability to set Quality of Experience parameters to prioritize actions using aggregated, processed data.
  4. A user interface that presents data in a more user-friendly manner, making diagnosis and resolution simpler and faster.
  5. A stress-tested, scalable solution that can accommodate millions of subscribers and links.

Deliver More, Everywhere

As service providers face even more customer demand for continuity and speed, efficiency and cost control have never been more important. GPON Expresse provides ASSIA customers with a proven solution to monitor, manage, and tune their networks to deliver more to everyone, everywhere. That’s why ASSIA technology is being used to ensure the reliability of internet and home network connectivity on over 120M household connections and devices worldwide.

The next generation of broadband services is increasingly reliant on fiber-based access networks. Access networks are becoming mixtures of multiple deployment models which may include fiber-to-the-node (FTTN), fiber-to-the-distribution-point (FTTdp), fiber-to-the-basement (FTTB), and fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) architectures.

Service providers can choose how a combination of fiber and copper is deployed in neighborhoods, businesses, and homes. That flexibility, however, can lead to complexity which is why GPON Expresse was built to manage both copper and fiber access networks on the same platform. And, GPON Expresse’s ability to manage the outside plant portion of the access loop can be enhanced with CloudCheck which proactively addresses the Wi-Fi portion of the network, providing an end-to-end monitoring and management solution.

Further, ASSIA’s ability to manage new XGS-PON interfaces is a key contribution to the evolution of optical access. In light of new uses of the access network from COVID-19 work-from-home practices, this technology is even more important today than some months ago because it increases the traffic capacity (10 Gb/s versus 2.4 Gb/s) and also provides the symmetry needed to support downlink and uplink video capabilities that subscribers need.

For more information about GPON Expresse, please contact us.


The New Normal: Holiday-level Wi-Fi upload

Tuncay Cil and Sahand Golnarian
Team ASSIA

Posted on March 31, 2020

Remember on Christmas Day when you’re at home and you turn on Skype or Zoom or FaceTime or something else to video-chat with your relatives perhaps for hours on end? Now every day is exactly like that in terms of home Wi-Fi traffic volume and usage patterns.

ASSIA is currently managing Internet and home network connectivity for over 125 million homes worldwide.  The effect on Wi-Fi of the near-global lockdown and working from home trend is clear: We are seeing much higher volumes of data traffic on Wi-Fi networks, much higher levels of interference on the 5 GHz band, and also many more complaints about the quality of uplink connections. Everyday use of residential Internet and Wi-Fi during times of stay-at-home working looks more like our usage patterns and volumes during holidays.

In the last ten days we have been contacted by multiple carriers and service providers to help troubleshoot connectivity issues brought about by the change in usage patterns for home Wi-Fi. The results of our investigations (with a sample size in the tens of millions) point to a uniformly steep rise in upload traffic – even across different geographies and network types – with the upload to download traffic ratio (see graphic at the top) up more than 60%. This represents a two-fold increase over the average usage pattern from before lockdown policies were introduced.

wifi

Figure 1. 80% increase in PC/Phone upload traffic since the beginning of March.

With webcams, laptops, and PCs running video streams all the time home, Wi-Fi networks are uploading data like never before and a lot of teleconferencing, online education, and even telemedicine applications are not working properly due to network problems. Our indicators point to a major shift in usage behaviour: The total Wi-Fi upload traffic – mostly generated by gaming consoles, laptops and PCs – has increased by 80% since enforced stay-at-home policies (lockdown) began for most countries in early March (see graphic above).

Our data shows that the traditional weekday-weekend and time-of-day usage patterns have shifted. With video conferencing happening from home during the week, what used to be weekend traffic profiles are now taking place all through the week. We are also observing a 4-hour earlier start to peak upload traffic patterns during the day.

wifi traffic

Figure 2. Weekdays are now showing weekend level uplink use.

wifi traffi

Figure 3. Upstreaming behavior shows a 4-hour earlier start.

Network interference jumps

Add to this that radio network interference worsening as Wi-Fi becomes the dominant connection to the Internet. Recently FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has proposed that the US release the full 6 GHz band to unlicensed use – including Wi-Fi of course – based on the idea that existing Wi-Fi spectrum may soon be insufficient to support Wi-Fi traffic growth.

ASSIA’s findings on increased interference constitutes strong evidence in support of the proposed new spectrum policies of the FCC and Chairman Pai: Interference on the 2.4 GHz band was already high before the March lockdown but has since jumped another 10%. Even more remarkable is that interference on the 5 GHz band is up 30% since the start of the lockdown.

Network demand could lead to ‘premium home services’

Many home Wi-Fi service providers have been in need of effective home Wi-Fi management even before the lockdown. This need has now been greatly amplified and has changed in nature due to the increase in connectivity challenges for teleconferencing type applications, which are critical to the continuation of our productive lives during the lockdown. Carriers design and provision networks based on assumptions about usage and the mix of upstream and downstream traffic. We are now seeing shifts in traffic profiles that mandate a fundamental change in those assumptions.

But the behavior stressing networks in the short term will also drive demand for improved access technologies in the medium term. We could soon see the emergence of a new class of service, such as for example a premium residential service. Such services might be similar to what is today offered as enterprise-grade connectivity and would be targeted to serve work-from-home devices. The ability to identify, monitor, and prioritize such devices will become increasingly important from now on.

View or download our New Normal infographic:


Wi-Fi is Mission-Critical Infrastructure for Life

Tuncay Cil, CSO, ASSIA
Ken Kerpez, IEEE Fellow, Head of Standards, ASSIA

Recent chaos caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed vulnerabilities in our work, education, communication, and healthcare infrastructure in many ways. As massive numbers of people have no choice but to continue their lives from home, the home network has become the lifeline of connectivity. Issues related to speed, coverage, security, and reliability of the home network have become visible during video conference calls, online classes, and telemedicine visits. We believe proprietary data control and collection systems cause most of the inefficiencies and lack of coordination between applications and networks. To break the silos of incompatible home networking devices and management systems, a group of companies are now accelerating standardization efforts of open ecosystem friendly reference designs and standards developments.

ASSIA is helping to move Wi-Fi Alliance, BBF, and prpl standards forward and is furthering cloud management of Wi-Fi with the proposal for a Cloud Management and Diagnostics interface (CMDi). This is to fill in the gaps in existing data models, add flexible reporting such as variable data collection frequencies, and provide further glue to existing standards for true cloud management and control. This work aims to fulfill the need for advanced home network management—including real-time diagnostics and optimization—particularly for the critical Wi-Fi link. Wi-Fi Alliance EasyMeshTM provides an open ecosystem for deploying multiple APs to provide whole-home Wi-Fi coverage. Wi-Fi Alliance Data ElementsTM standardizes important, relevant diagnostics data reporting from both multi-AP and single-AP deployments.

The Broadband Forum (BBF) has developed the successor to TR-069, the User Services Platform (USP), which is standardized in TR-369. USP is more agile and flexible than TR-069, providing real-time data and control. USP supports virtualization across the WAN to the cloud, and is being extended to an internal interface to support agents on devices. USP uses the extensive data models already defined by the BBF, including the Wi-Fi data model in TR-181, which was recently extended to include Wi-Fi Data Elements and additional multi-AP objects.

The prpl Foundation is developing an opensource reference platform to advance these standards, including prplMesh and joint work with the BBF. ASSIA is committed to bridge the gap among multiple standards in data collection and control frameworks and help enable a truly open application ecosystem for mission-critical infrastructure for home networking.

Read the Press Release “ASSIA Joins prpl Foundation to Make a Vendor-Neutral Wi-Fi Management Ecosystem a Reality


ASSIA’s IP, expertise, and products are ensuring business-grade reliability over residential internet connections to support life-critical applications

John M. Cioffi
CEO and Chairman of the Board, ASSIA

Posted on March 20, 2020

CEO John Cioffi shares ASSIA’s top priorities during COVID-19 epidemic

During this demanding time, ASSIA’s top priorities are to ensure the safety and continued productivity of our employees and to support the continuity of operations at ASSIA’s many large service provider customers globally.

In a matter of two weeks, a massive number of people have continued their employment from home, and their home networks have become the lifeline of connectivity to their colleagues, customers, co-workers, and investors.

A new generation of applications such as teleconferencing, tele-medicine, and tele-education have quickly become mission-critical tools for continuity of business and life, all operating over residential internet connections. These applications bring challenges to residential internet connections. Issues related to speed, throughput, stability, coverage, security, and reliability of the home network have become visible during video-conference calls, online classes, and tele-medicine portals.

ASSIA has worked with our large number of ecosystem partners, customers, and application providers to help quickly deliver the expertise and solutions necessary to bridge the gap in reliable connection management across access and home networks.

Today, ASSIA’s technologies are being used to ensure reliability of internet and home network connectivity on over 120M household connections and devices worldwide.  ASSIA’s entire workforce has rallied to ensure the reliable operation of residential connectivity for as many as we can.


Future of the Wi-Fi Ecosystem

Today, Wi-Fi is a major bottleneck for high-speed broadband delivery. The statistics are disconcerting, to say the least:

  • About 30 percent of Wi-Fi households have problems with slow speeds, dead spots and the like
  • Half of the homes experience high noise and interference at the 2.4GHz band
  • The actual throughput for 80% of homes with the 5GHz band is under 100Mbps
  • 35% of homes with the 5GHz band have severe coverage issues
  • 10% of them get less than 10Mbps throughput
  • And adding unmanaged access points has little or no effect on the problem

One reason is the nature of Wi-Fi itself. It’s a volatile spectrum, with frequent spikes that affect quality. Another reason for the poor customer experience is the increased demand because of the sheer number of connected devices.

And poor quality results in unhappy customers and higher service costs. Most of the calls to customer service are about low-quality Wi-Fi experience.

Handling those calls is expensive. It costs anywhere between $20 to a few hundred dollars to handle a ticket, depending on the support level needed. That can be a big hit to the bottom line.

The Players in the Wi-Fi Ecosystem

With numbers like that, it’s no wonder that the future of the Wi-Fi ecosystem is changing. To get a perspective, let’s look at three traditional players affected by this evolution: the carriers, system vendors and chipset vendors.

Carriers

For the most part, carriers now accept that Wi-Fi is their responsibility. Increasingly, they also see it as a path for increasing revenues (from offering more services) and for transforming their operations (by improving the quality of experience and reducing expenses). After all, Wi-Fi is the backbone for services like ambient computing, with its promise of a more integrated, intelligent house.

System Vendors

Over the past few years, system vendors have seen their industry become more competitive. The more established vendors, in particular, are challenged to differentiate their products and services, which have been in the market for a long time and have not evolved with the times.

Chipset Vendors

The third major player, the chipset vendors, traditionally called the shots. They determined who worked with which carrier in their ecosystem. Today the industry is more competitive. Several established vendors are trying to protect their ecosystems while newer players, which want to grow their share of the market, are trying to open the industry up. Moving forward, it seems that chipset vendors need to adopt a better data model that embraces standards and interoperability.

All of these players, carriers, system vendors and chipset vendors must evolve to be a part of the future of the Wi-Fi ecosystem.

Critical Factors for the Future of Wi-Fi Ecosystem

So that’s where we are today. Looking forward, we see three major areas that can impact the future of the Wi-Fi ecosystem: standards, network management and Wi-Fi 6.

Standards

With the market in so much flux, players need to view the ecosystem as a whole rather than focus on individual siloes. We need to think about how the different pieces of the ecosystem work together.

Of course, that requires interoperability, which demands a commitment to standards. Such a commitment would also substantially reduce the bottlenecks described above.

ASSIA supports all the open standards platforms and invests significant resources in this support. Proprietary solutions lock companies in, which makes it difficult for carriers to evolve, innovate, and incorporate emerging standards such as Wi-Fi 6 and mesh.

Today, because so few vendors adhere to standards, we have to test every version of the chipset and Wi-Fi driver to find out how they work on the middleware and/or CPE. We spend a good deal of our time solving interoperability problems because of the lack of standardization. The industry would be stronger if all of us were free to work on much more high-value-added services.

We think that carriers should always require the newest and best standards when they buy new CPEs or other devices. That’s how we can make some progress. Otherwise, vendors will take the least-expensive path, which is typically developing their own devices.

Cloud Management

There is a lot of discussion about Wi-Fi management, about the best way to assure the stability and throughput of the bandwidth. We believe that cloud management is the best way to holistically monitor, diagnose and optimize the home-internet and Wi-Fi service.

There are many operational benefits from managing a Wi-Fi network in the cloud. With cloud management, you can collect a huge amount of data, which can be correlated with real-live quality indicators to improve the models and algorithms, whether locally or in the edge. This is the best way to assure that all the systems and devices of the Wi-Fi network can interoperate, scale and evolve with technology and industry standards. Moving Wi-Fi management to the cloud will positively impact the future of the Wi-Fi Ecosystem.

Wi-Fi 6 and Mesh Networks

Finally, we need to discuss Wi-Fi 6 and mesh networks.

Some say Wi-Fi 6 is the most important iteration of wireless technology since Wi-Fi began.

Surely, Wi-Fi 6 will be an improvement and will offer significantly higher maximum data rates. However, the problem with Wi-Fi networks is not the maximum rate. As mentioned earlier, most devices do not transmit data anywhere near that rate. Reducing the network bottleneck is a much bigger issue than launching the next generation of Wi-Fi.

Of course, Wi-Fi 6 will help—probably a lot—but not right away. It won’t be a revolution; it will be an evolution. Face it, we are only now seeing the benefits from Wi-Fi 5 because it’s taken this long to get mainly Wi-Fi 5 end-user devices out there. So it will be a while before we see the impact of Wi-Fi 6.

As for mesh networks, they bring value but will not have a big impact. They really only make sense if there are more than two access points, and there are few multi-access households today. And a mesh installation is almost of no benefit if not managed properly. The real value is in the software.

Recommendations for the Future of the Wi-Fi Ecosystem

It’s clear that the future of the Wi-Fi ecosystem is in flux. Right now the network suffers from a serious bottleneck. Few people enjoy the data rates that will be needed for ambient computing to flourish. Carriers are increasingly burdened by the high cost of customer service.

For Wi-Fi to truly meet its potential, carriers, system vendors and chipset vendors need to focus on end-to-end delivery, rather than on segment delivery. That requires the industry to adopt standards that will enable devices and services to interoperate. Managing these devices from the cloud will also ensure their long-term viability.

If you are interested in learning more:


Best In-home Wi-Fi Product Winner: TalkTalk and ASSIA

We were very honored that the Wi-Fi Now Award judges awarded ASSIA and its customer TalkTalk the Wi-Fi Now 2019 Award for the Best In-Home Wi-Fi Product. TalkTalk’s game-changing Wi-Fi Hub uses the ASSIA CloudCheck platform to optimize internet to the home and Wi-Fi within the home. The award “honors the vendor creating the in-home Wi-Fi experience that all consumers want: Great Wi-Fi in every room of the house for all of your devices, all the time.”  The winners of the Wi-Fi Now 2019 Awards were determined by an independent board of judges and were announced at the Wi-Fi World Congress International Expo and Conference in London, UK on November 12th.

How TalkTalk Gave In-home Wi-Fi Consumers Great Wi-Fi in Every Room for All Devices and Services

TalkTalk realized that having the best, most reliable, and uncongested IP/MPLS network compared to your competitors is irrelevant to consumer perception if paired with a poor investment in Wi-Fi hardware and management. So to create the best in-home Wi-Fi product, TalkTalk developed its game-changing Wi-Fi Hub through a combination of customer feedback, academic direction, and strong partnerships to deliver to its customers their most sophisticated home gateway to date and provide the strongest connection in more corners of the home than ever before.

Despite the fantastic advantage that the Wi-Fi Hub would bring its customers, TalkTalk recognized that fantastic Wi-Fi hardware on its own would not suffice to create the best in-home Wi-Fi product or deliver the best quality of experience (QoE) to its customers. So, from the start, TalkTalk worked with its trusted connectivity partner, ASSIA, to deploy its Wi-Fi diagnostic and optimization software, ASSIA CloudCheck.

CloudCheck uses Machine Learning (ML) algorithms to predict key QoE parameters on individual Wi-Fi links between an AP and device without the need for software probes on both ends of the link. As a result, TalkTalk has real-time and historical views of millions of devices simultaneously and accurately, ensuring optimum performance and diagnostics into the home environment and empowering the end-user with its rich insight.

TalkTalk’s Use of Unique, Advanced Technology

TalkTalk selected a Broadcom based 4×4 AC2200 solution built by Sagemcom and sought leading industry expert opinion and test services from the likes of the University of Bristol Electrical Engineering team to help design, optimize, and test the best radio array. This was coupled with laboratory interoperability and environmental testing by the University of New Hampshire Interoperability Lab and Cartesian, which included running performance tests to the criteria of the latest Broadband Forum TR-398 in its development stages. This ensured the device was the best in-home Wi-Fi product, and no component lacked in appeal or magnificence.

The testing, benchmarking, and customer feedback showed that the device delivered the in-home experience customers demand from their service provider, but the evaluation and progression cycle didn’t stop at the initial development. With cooperation between TalkTalk, ASSIA, Sagemcom, UNH-IOL, and many other industry experts, the in-life experience was constantly evolved through in-depth Wi-Fi and device management learning from real-world deployments.

Collectively, this led towards the device scoring the highest in independent 3rd party performance testing, the highest customer satisfaction scores, and several independent product recommendations—such as the Which? Best Buy award for consumers and being recognized as the Best In-home Wi-Fi Product by Wi-Fi now judges.

In addition, ASSIA CloudCheck incorporates new artificial intelligence-based algorithms that relate operational network stability metrics to consumer QoE in its diagnostics and optimization methods. Using TalkTalk’s operational data (ex: customer call and dispatch rates), the AI-based algorithms run two learning loops for diagnostics and optimization, and both loops work to maintain the maximum stable data rate on a given link.

CloudCheck uses machine learning (ML) in its proactive care, proactive maintenance, churn predictor, and service-level upsell predictor features. Now, instead of waiting for a subscriber to have a poor quality of experience and contact customer support, CloudCheck will alert TalkTalk to either proactively solve the upcoming problem for the subscriber or contact the subscriber to coach them through self-help to prevent the poor quality of experience. CloudCheck is even able to automatically resolve some QoE problems, including switching devices to different access points to balance loads and switching the frequency band or channel the device is using.

CloudCheck Directly Enhances the Consumer’s Wi-Fi Experience

When considering the technical performance, TalkTalk has enjoyed the return on its investment through the highest benchmark results from independent sources.

Ultimately, performance in the real world matters most, and again, TalkTalk has reaped the benefits on the commitment to strong partnerships by realizing the lowest PTC by device, the highest CSAT/NPS, and the lowest OPEX through better first-time fixes, a reduction in unnecessary or incorrectly assigned truck rolls, and unnecessary equipment replacements.

These real-world benefits and the recognition as the best in-home Wi-Fi product are primarily attributed to TalkTalk’s integration of ASSIA CloudCheck which performs over 20 million optimizations a day.

So far, TalkTalk has seen a:

  • 8% increase in average active throughput on 2.4GHz and 5GHz
  • 20% reduction in Wi-Fi interference
  • 23% increase in the number of stations that mainly operate in 5GHz band
  • 9dBm average RSSI gain
  • 30% of gateways with severe coverage issues had no coverage issues after optimization

Thanks to the continuous data collection and reporting to the cloud, particularly troublesome issues such as time-of-day problems, faulty CPE devices, and intermittent annoyances are automatically monitored and diagnosed without the customer having to do anything.

Growth Potential for the TalkTalk and ASSIA Best In-home Wi-Fi Product

In TalkTalk’s UK market, Wi-Fi and broadband supply and performance requirements are equally tantamount with one another. Providing a Wi-Fi access point that outperforms its rivals’ offerings, exceeds customer expectations, and can be provided to the majority of its new customers for free, entices new customers which is important to facilitate growth.

Wi-Fi Hub’s crown of ASSIA CloudCheck keeps customers’ Wi-Fi performance at its best, builds satisfaction, and reduces TalkTalk’s operating costs through lower support overhead and other costs associated with sub-optimal performance. The additional upfront investment in best-in-class hardware and Wi-Fi management capabilities pays off through a reduced total cost of ownership over a customer’s lifecycle with customer satisfaction levels that can only be achieved with such an investment.


Guide to Cloud-based Wi-Fi Management Standards and Open Source

The landscape of Wi-Fi standards that will help service providers take responsibility for managing home Wi-Fi CPE is still evolving. There are several standards and open source initiatives that are intended to help service providers manage the in-home quality of experience for their subscribers, but none are fully specified or widely adopted yet. This puts the service provider looking for a technology path for managing home Wi-Fi that will serve them today, as well as tomorrow, in a tough situation.  Do they purchase a solution or build it themselves using an open source initiative? Which Wi-Fi standards will impact the effectiveness of their solution today and tomorrow? To help service providers navigate this territory, ASSIA’s Director of Standards, Ken Kerpez, put together a “Guide to Cloud-based Wi-Fi Management Standards”.  The goal of this paper is to help organizations understand the different standards and open-source initiatives and the role each plays in cloud-based Wi-Fi management.

The Present Situation: The “Crossroads”

This section of the “Guide to Cloud-based Wi-Fi Management Standards” looks at how the widely adopted TR-069 protocol, the defacto management standard, was not built to handle the volume and complexity of communications today. The protocol was not designed to cope with factors such as the number of devices, the volume of data, mesh networking, security issues, and multiple IoT devices. As a result, some service providers have developed in-house proprietary solutions. This trend, of course, reduces interoperability and agility.

Evolution of Competition and OTT Technology

This section of the “Guide to Cloud-based Wi-Fi Management Standards” starts with the emergence of Over the Top (OTT) players such as Amazon and Google providing content, applications, e-commerce and consumer electronics creating a challenge for service providers, who were already facing increased costs. As result, many, who may have just implemented TR-069, started to move beyond TR-069 in a variety of ways. It breaks this evolution into three, somewhat overlapping phases.

  • Phase 1: Re-engineering propriety software stacks
  • Phase 2: Interoperability
  • Phase 3: Adoption of common initiatives

CPE Management Standards and Open Source Initiatives

This section of the “Guide to Cloud-based Wi-Fi Management Standards” dives deep into the three major initiatives listed in the table below.

Initiatives Description & Purpose Supporting Organizations
USP/TR-369 Remote management of CPE which encompasses IoT. The next generation of the TR-069 standard. Uses the TR-181 data model, also used by TR-069, with objects for managing Wi-Fi including Data Elements, multi-AP and single-AP Broadband Forum, which has more than 100 principal members, both service providers and vendors (e.g., AT&T, SoftBank, Cisco and Qualcomm)
prplMesh An implementation of Wi-Fi Multi-AP / EasyMesh™ specification from the Wi-Fi Alliance to manage multiple access points with a single on-premise controller. prpl Foundation, an opensource, community-driven, collaborative, nonprofit foundation with more than 30 members (e.g., Broadcom, Intel and Vodafone) and more than 200 active engineers. Also defining common interfaces for managing Wi-Fi the Broadband Forum.
Data Elements Defines select parameters for monitoring and diagnostics of Wi-Fi, particularly for Multi-AP. Now being extended to cover new Multi-AP features, Wi-Fi 6, and remote configuration. The Wi-Fi Alliance, with hundreds of members, and defines certification of Wi-Fi devices for conformance and interoperability/
OpenSync Open source middleware to enable common SDN control of, and data collection from, the CPE. Runs on a proprietary server. Plume

As the “Guide to Cloud-based Wi-Fi Management Standards” discusses, these new standards such as USP/TR-369 will make it easier for service providers to take ownership of the Wi-Fi environment as an essential component of their broadband service delivery. These upcoming standards will also enable service providers to offer new and incremental services, expanding their revenue base.

Download our complete Guide to Cloud-based Wi-Fi Management Standards and Open Source White Paper

A complete overview of the CPE Management Standards and open-source initiatives, and what they intend to accomplish:

  • From TR-069 to USP/TR-369
  • prplMesh
  • OpenSync

 

Other related materials by ASSIA’s Director of Standards Ken Kerpez, that may be of interest to you are:


Wireless Broadband Alliance and Wireless Global Congress

David Stevenson
ASSIA CRO. BS in Physics and Electrical Engineering from the University of Sydney.

Posted on June 13, 2019

ASSIA CRO, David Stevenson, on far right of panel at the Wireless Broadband Alliance’s Atlanta Congress

Earlier this year ASSIA was invited to join the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) and to participate in the WBA Working Group sessions at the Wireless Global Congress on May 20 -23 in Atlanta. The WBA is a complimentary organization to the Wi-Fi Alliance:

  • The WBA specifies roaming between operators’ Wi-Fi networks (hotspots) and the use cases for operators to manage Wi-Fi services.
  • The Wi-Fi Alliance defines the 801.11 specifications which are the basis for how devices connect over Wi-Fi.

The Wireless Broadband Alliance has over 100 members—most of the world’s leading service providers—and has reached out to key vendors as they work to develop in-home Wi-Fi industry guidelines and test cases for the next generation Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), which is coming out in 2019. Of course, this also involves the coming together of LTE/5G and Wi-Fi/LAN technologies in which the WBA 5G Working Group is active. In addition, the WBA IoT Working Group is involved in the many use cases that involve the movement from fixed to mobile (in vehicle scenarios), vehicle to vehicle, and Wi-Fi sensing.

Panel: Future of In-Home Wi-Fi—From IoT to Next-generation In-home Wi-Fi Experience

The Wireless Broadband Alliance asked ASSIA to participate in the industry panel “Future of In-Home Wi-Fi— from IoT to next-generation in-home Wi-Fi experience” at the Wireless Global Conference Atlanta with representatives from AirTies and Cognitive. During the panel, I had the chance to share some of the work ASSIA has been doing that leverages our years of experience managing and optimizing broadband to the home. As the industry transitions to broadband to the device across a mix of technologies, and as Wi-Fi expands from a single access point in the home to multiple access points and mesh topologies, I focused on how ASSIA is:

  • Supporting multiple services in the home spanning voice, video, AR and IoT
  • Participating in the early rollout of Wi-Fi 6-capable access points
  • Building an intelligent cloud-based system that can take real-time action to ensure an excellent quality of experience for the end user

Wireless Broadband Alliance

The Wireless Broadband Alliance is certainly an interesting organization to be part of.  They are helping us understand and anticipate real world problems so we can build and test solutions that make a real difference to service providers including:

  • Helping to reduce operations costs by reducing the number of service call and field visits
  • Maximizing the return on investment by minimizing CapEx to only target the things that make a difference
  • Improving customer satisfaction, reducing churn, and encouraging purchase of additional services

I look forward to ongoing engagement and continuing to form partnerships to help push the industry forward.

If you are interested in learning more about the Wireless Broadband Alliance and their events:

 


Marconi Society 2019 Awards Dinner

David Stevenson
ASSIA CRO. BS in Physics and Electrical Engineering from the University of Sydney.

Posted on May 28, 2019

It was privilege to attend the Marconi Society Awards Dinner on May 17th which honored the 2019 Marconi Prize Winners Taher Elgamal and Paul Kocher for their development of SSL/TLS as well as other contributions to the security of communications. The event was well attended by many well-known people who have made huge contributions to the advancement of communications technologies.

Attendees included Vint Cerf who is known for the design of TCP/IP and is one of the “fathers of the internet”, James H. Clark who was a founder of several Silicon Valley companies including Netscape Communications Company where the 2019 prize winners developed the security to enable on-line purchases, Robert Lucky who led Telcordia Technologies’ building of the Automatic Adaptive Equalizer, and of course John Cioffi who founded ASSIA after his pioneering research that helped create Digital Subscriber Line circuits that bring broadband Internet access to hundreds of millions of people.

It was extraordinary to be in a room with so many of the people who built the modern communications technologies we use every day and to see them not only honoring their peers, but also encouraging the next generation of innovators from all over the world who are working on MIMO (Multiple-Input-Multiple-Output) transceiver architectures, networks to support IoT applications, and NOMA (Non-Orthogonal Multiple Access) technologies with the Paul Baran Young Scholars Awards.

The Marconi Society is a great organization and the Marconi Society Awards very worthwhile.