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WiFi 6 Will Have A Big Impact On Quality Of Experience

Wi-Fi has become a ubiquitous feature of our lives over the three decades since it was first introduced. Many advances have been made during this time, such as the successful opening up of both 2.4GHz and 5.7GHz bands for use in all Wi-Fi enabled devices. Today the Wi-FI industry is shipping over 3 billion chipsets annually, with 5 billion Wi-FI devices currently in homes around the world . The global installed device base is estimated to exceed twice the entire population of the Earth by 2022.  

With 70% of data traffic on cellular mobile devices carried out by Wi-Fi, the proliferation of IoT (Internet of Things) devices, and the growth of Wi-Fi dependent services such as streaming video, our current Wi-Fi infrastructure is starting to reach its limit, especially when used in high-density environments like apartment buildings, airports and public spaces.  

In April 2020, the FCC officially approved 6GHz band use in the US, allowing Wi-Fi to extend its reach further and faster onto 1200 MHz of radio spectrum. This momentous decision will triple the available spectrum, opening the door wider for broadband services and innovation far into the future. Coined Wi-Fi 6E, this historical advancement will enhance the entire wireless experience.  

Wi-Fi has been recognized as a foundational technology for IoT, as well as an important feature in bringing communication networks to underserved areas, and a great contributor to national and global economies. Access to the 6GHz spectrum will enable Wi-Fi to continue delivering the vast innovations and socioeconomic benefits it is bringing to the market today.  

“Opening up blocks of 6 GHz bandwidth for Wi-Fi definitely supports growth of Wi-Fi in the next decade. Many more larger-bandwidth channels can be simultaneously deployed to enable data heavy communication and back and front haul of multi-node wireless networks, and increase immunity to interference over all as a Wi-Fi system. As a side benefit, Wi-Fi signal location accuracy can significantly improve and open up paths for new applications,” said  Tuncay Cil, Chief Strategy Officer of ASSIA. “ASSIA will be actively supporting standardization and commercialization of new capabilities of 6 GHz in a vendor-neutral fashion across the Wi-Fi ecosystem.” 

Wi-FI 6E will serve as a complement to the upcoming release of the 5G cellular network. At a 5.9GHz to 7.1GHz range in a 1.2GHz radio spectrum, Wi-Fi 6E has access to nearly 1.5 times the amount of frequencies to transmit on the fastest 5G cellular connections (3.5GHz on 800MHz). This translates into faster data rates, triple additional spectrum and bandwidth, lower latency, and massive capacity. 

Opening up blocks of 6 GHz bandwidth for Wi-Fi will continue to support the growth of Wi-Fi in decades to come. A lot more larger-bandwidth channels can be simultaneously deployed to enable data-heavy communication, as well as backhaul and fronthaul of multi-node wireless networks. There will be increased immunity to interference overall in the Wi-Fi system. This new bandwidth opens up greater location accuracy which will significantly improve and open up paths for applications. ASSIA will be actively supporting standardization and commercialization of the new 6 GHz capabilities in a vendor-neutral fashion across the Wi-Fi ecosystem. 

These recent WiFi 6E enhancements, along with the promising future of a 5G cellular spectrum will be giving users a much improved range of wireless options. Despite the many challenges the world faces, we have a lot to look forward to when it comes to wireless.  


7 Factors Driving Future of Home Wi-Fi

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

Posted on June 8, 2020

It is hard to believe that Wi-Fi has been around for 20 years now and it is amazing how far we have come. But as Wi-Fi has become a part of our daily lives and smart devices fill our home, our demands and expectations of Wi-Fi are increasing, especially at a time when so much work has shifted to the home. Looking forward, we’ve compiled seven factors that will shape the future of home Wi-Fi during its 3rd decade.

1. Managed Home Wi-Fi that Delivers Broadband to the Device will have Significant Value to Consumers and Service Providers

Wi-Fi performance matters to consumers. If paying for 50Mb/s to their home, they expect to get at least that to their device wherever they are, and they choose their provider based on their experience and perception of who best delivers what they pay for. But since most consumers don’t know if their performance problems are caused by their Wi-Fi or the network, they call their service provider when their home Wi-Fi does not perform well, which means:

  • Costly customer service calls and field visits increase
  • Networks and homes need upgrades to meet customer satisfaction demands

We have seen a large lift in carrier adoption of our Wi-Fi management solution, CloudCheck, so we predict the future of home Wi-Fi will see more and more service providers take responsibility for managing home Wi-Fi in the first part of the coming decade.

2. Standards are Needed as Industry Moves to Multiple Access Points and Mesh

Wi-Fi has changed the way we consume content in our homes. Home entertainment behavior has moved from families watching TV shows together on a television—often connected via cable—to many devices throughout the home concurrently using Wi-Fi for entertainment, each of which requires good coverage and availability. Today, family members are:

  • Working from their home offices and conducting business using cloud apps
  • Communicating with work colleagues and family through videoconferencing
  • Streaming videos from their device anywhere they are
  • Making phone calls via Wi-Fi and messaging apps
  • Shopping online
  • Interactively playing multi-person/multi-location games with virtual reality

As a result, consumers care about their Wi-Fi Quality of Service (QoS) and Quality of Experience (QoE) and expect their service providers to:

  • Provide high throughput with low latency
  • Optimize the service to each device based on what they are doing
  • Manage channels and bands as a shared resource within and between homes

The resulting complexity and required interoperability are forcing the industry to move from single-vendor proprietary solutions to standards-based solutions that let consumers mix and match from multiple vendors to meet their unique needs. Standards such as Wi-Fi Certified Data Elements™ will be critical for the future of home Wi-Fi. This is why ASSIA has committed significant resources to participating in standards bodies including the Wi-Fi AllianceBroadband Forum, NICCITU, the prpl Foundation and  ETSI.

3. EasyMesh Will Offer Agility and Freedom to Service Providers

EasyMesh is one such standard that defines a standardized way for access points and home gateways to talk to each other, allowing devices to be mixed and matched in the home. In the future of home Wi-Fi, this will relieve the need for service providers to bring customer-premises equipment (CPE) vendors together to figure out how to get their devices to interwork, which has historically meant service providers had to deploy proprietary software across the devices and take responsibility for testing and maintenance. In many ways, industry dependency on chip manufacturers has held the industry back and been a major obstacle to growth of the Wi-Fi ecosystem. The last two decades has shown that chipset vendors don’t have a viable software business and that they should allow others to modernize the software stack.

To date, we have been a neutral player in this phase of the market with a software solution that can be deployed on any device. As EasyMesh gets implemented as a standard feature of CPE, we will be able to make our solution work from the gateway to any device. We expect to see a lot of standard-compliant devices come to market, which will allow service providers to select a combination of vendors and even offer Wi-Fi management themselves for device users. It will take a while to get new devices through certification, but we are working to make it a simple software upgrade from our current solution.

4. Interoperability Standards like TR369 and OpenSync Hold Promise for Cloud-Managed Wi-Fi

TR369 is an open standard which uses more modern protocols allowing more detailed and real-time information to be used by cloud-based algorithms to monitor and take action, which we think is the future of home Wi-Fi. It will take a little while to mature and the standard will need to stay up to date as chip and device vendors innovate. It will also need testing to make sure management services and devices interwork properly. That said, TR369 has the promise of doing for Wi-Fi what TR69/TR98/TR181 tried to do but missed the mark—enabling the cloud-based management of Wi-Fi to solve problems in real time. ASSIA is engaged in defining TR369 and has a lot of experience to contribute from using our high-performing protocol.

ASSIA is involved in OpenSync, PRPL, and a several service provider initiatives all aimed at solving the same problem—how to speed time to market for new services and features by reducing interworking problems between management and device as new software is deployed. To a degree, NFV is working to solve similar issues for the network, but like it, we are seeing multiple camps and we still have a way to go for things to mature.

5. Supporting Multiple Dwelling Units (MDUs) Will Become Critical in the Future of Home Wi-Fi

MDUs is a subject I’ve had quite a lot of experience with from a previous phase of my career doing management for GPON and 3GPP small cells. There is definitely huge value to coordinate management across adjacent living units which are within range to interfere with each other’s radio connections. Wi-Fi 6 helps by adding more capacity (channels and bands) and things like MIMO and low-power IoT device operation to the mix. But it will take a while to roll out and for a system to be able to optimize behavior across devices. 

In current service provider trials, we are seeing real advantage in coordinating Radio Resource Management across devices, such as the better use of the channels and frequency bands, increases in the median transmission rates, and higher availability to create a better quality of experience for users. 

6. Wi-Fi 6 (802.11AX) Will Make a Difference, but Not Right Away

While devices are already available which boast Wi-Fi 6 capability, they are not cheap, and experience says it will take a few years to really have a wide impact. Tri-band radio devices and mesh are already happening, and, to a degree, they are solving the same problems—coverage and throughput. Wi-Fi 6 also needs a new generation of consumer devices (phones, tablets, computers, etc.) to take advantage of the new features, which will also take a while.

We are supporting Wi-Fi 6-capable devices now, but we think it will take another generation of chipsets and devices before the cost comes down and for Wi-Fi 6 to become a significant contributor to the future of home Wi-Fi. In addition, more work is required to implement all the new features in the standard such as MIMO and channel sharing.

7. 5G Has Value but Wi-Fi Will Continue to Have its Place

What we are seeing is that mm wave and the 5G standard promise to become part of the industry solutions for the final leg of broadband to the home. 5G still needs a lot of fiber to the distribution point. Where there are copper or cable drops in place, access technologies are keeping up to deliver bandwidth to the home (ASSIA is very involved in helping manage and optimize these services), but Wi-Fi will remain a key part of in-home distribution where we need something that can go through walls or be distributed across a home to give in-house coverage.

In anticipation of 5G as part of the future of home Wi-Fi, we are working with service providers with our combined solutions which not only optimize broadband to the home but also broadband in the home and to the device.

Future of Home Wi-Fi Summary

In summary, it’s been a great 20 years and we have made a lot of progress. But as the 7 factors demonstrate, the industry has a lot of work to do to meet the increasing consumer demands and expectations for the future of home Wi-Fi, and ASSIA is here to do our part. ASSIA looks forward to making significant contributions to the future of home Wi-Fi in the decade to come.

The Case For Managed Wi-Fi: Download Free White Paper

The massive and likely permanent shift of office work to the home has created big problems for carriers as consumers strain networks both to the home and inside the home, assuming the carriers are responsible for device performance and connectivity issues.

Fortunately, this also offers carriers a unique and urgent opportunity to take more control of the situation, reducing costs and increasing revenues. Managed home Wi-Fi includes the following opportunities:

  • Managing and reducing operational costs (OpEx) by gaining visibility of connectivity issues inside the home and leveraging diagnostic tools
  • Maximizing the ROI from capital investment (CapEx) by optimizing equipment and service performance
  • Creating new revenue streams
  • Reducing churn by giving customers a differentiated quality of experience

Learn how your company can utilize managed Wi-Fi to get the most out of this opportunity.

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Home Wi-Fi QoE: Post-AI Hype Connected Home Management

ASSIA
Marketing Team

Posted on May 28, 2020

Artificial Intelligence (AI) receives a lot of hype these days. The tech industry uses it extensively, in ranges of use from home digital assistants, to autonomous vehicles, to predictive analytics. In our industry, AI can be extremely helpful for improving subscriber Wi-Fi quality-of-experience.

We have been using AI technologies in our broadband product line, Expresse, for many years. Our AI algorithms diagnose broadband issues, automatically optimize performance, and recommend next-best service steps to call center and field technicians. For our CloudCheck product, we have drawn upon these years of AI experience and expertise to manage home Wi-Fi for our service provider customers.

In this post, and its supporting video presentation, we share our AI learnings and cover:

  • The cost of poor Wi-Fi QoE to service providers
  • The role AI plays in-home Wi-Fi QoE
  • The challenges the dynamic Wi-Fi ecosystem makes for managing home Wi-Fi
  • The decision carriers must make regarding their role in managing home Wi-Fi
  • The practical application of AI to improve home Wi-Fi
  • Some requirements for a managed home Wi-Fi solution

The Cost of Poor Wi-Fi QoE

Poor Wi-Fi performance negatively impacts a service provider’s operating expenses. The typical subscriber does not distinguish between Wi-Fi and broadband issues. When subscribers experience poor home Wi-Fi, they call their service provider assuming something is wrong with their internet connection. Often their problem is a Wi-Fi issue.

This table details the cost of service calls. Our customer data, derived from over 100 million customer accounts shows that poor QoE increases the number of these calls by a factor of 4.8.

Support Level Cost Per Ticket
Vendor $471
Field Support $196
Level 3: IT (apps, networking, NOC, etc.) $85
Level 2: Desktop Support $62
Level 1: Service Desk $22

AI and Home Wi-Fi QoE

The key to a good Wi-Fi QoE for home users is a sensible QoE score defined by operational, rather than marketing metrics. The most important factors that deliver a high Wi-Fi QoE are:

  • Picking the channel correctly
  • Picking the band correctly
  • Steering devices to the best access point for them
  • Balancing the load when necessary

Mesh networks add a little more complexity due to their need for topology management.

But the scale and dynamic nature of home Wi-Fi environments create a challenge to manage home Wi-Fi QoE. Artificial intelligence helps by:

  • Monitoring all the existing conditions in real-time
  • Detecting any changes
  • Processing and analyzing the data coming from the devices and CPE
  • Learning from what has worked well in similar environments
  • Applying those best-practice learnings to the current home environment

Customers using our AI technology to manage QoE:

  • Improve customer retention 15-20%
  • Improve network QoE 25-35%
  • Improve home Wi-Fi speeds
  • Reduce customer service calls 30-50%
  • Reduce access points with interference 40%
  • Reduce new installation costs 15-20%
  • Reduce field dispatches 44%.

Home Wi-Fi’s Dynamic Ecosystem

As mentioned above, the Wi-Fi ecosystem constantly changes, which makes managing home Wi-Fi QoE a challenge for service providers. Each new technology comes with high expectations for improving home Wi-Fi but creates new issues. The 5GHz band, 11ax, 11ay, and mesh all help in their way, yet home Wi-Fi performance issues persist. For example:

  • The move from 2.4 to 5GHz replaced the noise issues in 2.4 with coverage issues in 5 GHz.
  • The 5GHz band has marginal impact on throughputs—44% of homes still see less than 30 Mbps, which is not enough to handle 4K video streaming, gaming, and multiple IoT and mobile devices.
  • Adding access points, if unmanaged, only improve 2.4GHz by 2.5% and do not impact 5Ghz at a cost of $50-100 per access point.

Going forward, multi-dwelling units, 5G, and the convergence of 5G and Wi-Fi add new challenges.

The Carrier Decision Point

The issues with home Wi-Fi QoE and the challenges created by the dynamic ecosystem force service providers into difficult business decisions that impact their service and brand. They must decide where they focus their resources, do they:

  • Optimize for bandwidth-to-the-device or settle with optimizing to the premises
  • Optimize for dynamic QoE or settle for optimizing for average QoE

The Practical Application of AI

AI technology, when practically applied, makes this decision easier and balances the polarized nature of the decision. AI bridges the gap between the business priorities and the complex physical assets that impact home Wi-Fi QoE. AI technology relieves service providers from making an either/or decision. They can phase capabilities in overtime, based on their business priorities.

As the figure below shows, by adding virtual probes to elements in the physical layer on the left, AI and Data Science optimize home Wi-Fi QoE based on the business priorities of the service provider on the right. Ergodic Spectrum Management is implemented for wireless networks, and Dynamic Line Management for fixed-line networks. Everything is phased in accordance with the business priorities of the carrier.

Home Wi-Fi QoE AI

Home Wi-Fi QoE Solution Requirements

To successfully apply AI to home Wi-Fi QoE in this phased manner, some core technology capabilities are required. These include:

  • Vendor-neutral network element interface across the environment, radio, and spectrum
  • Predictive analytics to dynamically learn and predict network failure and performance patterns, and their impact on customer churn and service requests
  • Real-time diagnostics for all the connections in the network
  • Extended data input from systems beyond network elements such as customer care requests, service offers, etc.
  • Prescriptive analytics to dynamically learn and recommend the best connection profiles for target stability and QoE for proactive care, maintenance, and network design
  • Dynamic layered optimization to dynamically learn, fix, and recommend best connection profiles for target stability and QoE
  • Communication and collection so that all connections are monitored in real-time and detailed diagnostics are triggered based on pre-set QoE events
  • Commitment to standards so that it will work well with new technology advancements in the future

Home Wi-Fi QoE Recommendation

Service providers do not have to settle for rudimentary solutions configured to solve problems based on the lowest common denominator or averages. With the practical application of the right AI solution, they can implement intelligent solutions that learn and adapt to solve a wide range of home Wi-Fi QoE problems in a variety of environments.

To learn more:

 

 


The Future of the Wi-Fi Connected Home

Today’s internet service providers face serious challenges in supporting their customers’ Wi-Fi networks.

  • Accessing the data in existing hardware and software in a siloed ecosystem
  • Providing whole-home Wi-Fi
  • Delivering fast throughput
  • Enabling self-management

Accessing the Data in Existing Hardware and Software in a Siloed Ecosystem

A lot of service providers and device manufacturers need a way to access the information—the hardware and software resources—in the home and the last mile of the network. However, the technology used in the last mile and the home is 10 to 15 years behind the technology used in today’s data centers. And the industry moves slowly, and hardware evolution is a bit stagnant. The net effect is that it is difficult for the industry to launch new technologies, services, and upgrades; and to reduce costs.

Fortunately, there is a growing awareness of the bottlenecks in the ecosystem. One way to break through these bottlenecks is to use standards. Whenever you standardize something, the market explodes, and that’s good for the industry. Another way is to focus on the ecosystem as a whole, rather than on a siloed service-provider-plus-vendor alignment. We need to think about how the different pieces of the ecosystem work together.

This is not just about add-on services; it’s also about the basic service. Bottlenecks reduce speed, reliability, and the ability to offer new services. This problem is on an order of magnitude bigger than launching next-generation Wi-Fi. The ecosystem is locked in, so we have problems of interoperability and competing standards that never get realized.

Providing Whole Home Wi-Fi

A second major challenge is the need for Wi-Fi throughout the entire home. Customers are buying more connected devices, which increases demand for Wi-Fi availability throughout the home. However, about 30 percent of Wi-Fi households have problems with slow speeds, dead spots, and the like. The signal usually fails because of the structure, its walls, and other barriers.

In the past, it was common to have one access point with high-power Wi-Fi. The trend now is for mesh solutions with many nodes that are better placed in the home—big nodes for large spaces and little ones for smaller areas.

Delivering Fast Throughput

Wi-Fi has to be faster, and customers want to be able to measure that speed inside the home. On the average, usable throughputs are only about 20 to 25 Mbps. These are measured figures ASSIA has, and this is a problem that is primarily due to the fact that the ecosystem is siloed.

Enabling Self-management

Consumers want to manage their home Wi-Fi networks themselves. They want a user-friendly system that lets them see how the network is performing and fix it themselves. ASSIA, some operators, and mesh solutions allow customers to troubleshoot their networks on the fly.

The Need for Properly Managed Wi-Fi in the Home

Two major issues for proper management of home Wi-Fi are stability, throughput, and innovation. In response to these issues, we need two things.

A fast, stable connection to the house. We must focus on the last mile of connectivity. The way to address that is to clean up the bottlenecks in the ecosystem, one by one.

Allow providers to innovate. Let’s not add closed layers that create latencies on top of latencies. If the latency is too large, software companies can’t innovate. Instead of opening up the ecosystem, we put up fences, stifle innovation, and shrink the number of vendors. Everyone wants to have the highest performance access to the home. We need standards that help with interoperability and enable innovation in the marketplace.

Supporting High-speed Wi-Fi in MDUs

Providing quality Wi-Fi in MDUs (multiple dwelling units) is a significant challenge, especially when there are multiple providers in the MDU. There would be great advantage in coordinating multiple networks within the same floor and building, both in the front and the back end, and cross-optimizing between the two.

If there is a problem, it is essential to first identify the source or sources of contention—often, there is more than one source. And the environment is dynamic. So, it is important to employ an adaptive solution, which can deliver the right optimization parameters to different kinds of networks in the MDU. This will become even more important in the future. Without coordinating Wi-Fi, it will be hard to solve the capacity problem into the individual home in an MDU.

We Are Meeting These Challenges

ASSIA has two initiatives to meet the challenges of Wi-Fi connected home: Commande and Cloud Management and Diagnostics interface (CMDi).

Commande

This software stack enables data collection and control and provides an interface with a decision-support system and CPEs. Commande is an immediate path to avoid vendor lock-in because once you’re locked in, you’re stuck, and six or seven years out, there is no innovation. For this initiative, ASSIA is working with carriers, and we have a hardware ecosystem partner program with about 15 companies. Learn more about ASSIA Commande.

CMDi

Our second initiative, CDMi, is longer-term. CMDi is an ASSIA proposal for a standard way to define the interfaces for devices and network elements. And we are doing corresponding standards-related work, such as with OpenWrt, RDK, prpl, the Wi-Fi Alliance and Broadband World Forum.

As far as standards go, we don’t play favorites. We support all the open standards platforms and invest significant resources in this support. However, we believe it is essential that we provide the interface level and share our know-how, so the industry has an open ecosystem. Without that, innovation will be much slower.

We built our technology to be vendor-independent. Our goal is to reduce the lead time to enable companies to bring new software and services to market. In that way, we can help make the promise of the Wi-Fi connected home a reality.


Mitigation practices for improving home broadband services

During the first two months of the COVID-19 crisis we monitored traffic patterns on broadband lines from different points of presence (i.e. CPEs, copper or optical fiber local loops), while helping operators provide solutions to mitigate the impact of higher traffic on existing infrastructure.

This effort revealed some interesting insights and uncovered some effective mitigation strategies that operators can take to improve the customer quality-of-experience.

Home-based traffic patterns are now very different

We compiled usage data by combining feedback from key operators as well as running direct measurements at DSLAM/OLT and CPE points using ASSIA’s Expresse and CloudCheck products.  

Here is what we uncovered: 

  1. A steep rise in upload traffic with the upload-to-download traffic ratio increasing more than 60%. The peak you can see in late December is due to the impact of video calls around Christmas Day.
  2. Customer usage patterns have shifted. With video conferencing happening from home during the week, what used to be weekend traffic profiles are now taking place throughout the week.
  3. Upstream traffic levels cross the long-term average level 4-hours earlier than before, changing to align to a workday schedule.

Congestion 

Increased traffic demand will often create congestion. We are detecting a lot of congestion at the Wi-Fi level which can only be corrected at the access node. ASSIA Expresse is a valuable tool for operators to help mitigate this, especially since upstream congestion correlates to poor perceived quality and is a big factor for increased customer churn. 

  • ASSIA CloudCheck detected spikes in upstream congestion. Further analysis found that 40% of customers with 2 upstream congestion detections in the prior 7 days had rated the reliability of their service as poor. This negatively impacted the operator’s Net Promoter Score versus its competitor. 
  • The percentage of customers experiencing upstream congestion has almost doubled for lines with high upstream rates. For lines with low upstream rates (1Mbps and below), the percentage of lines experiencing upstream congestion was already high and degraded further. 

Mitigation strategies

These are a sampling of the mitigation strategies that our clients could use to cope with the situation:

  • Analyze lines capable of higher uplink traffic with ASSIA Expresse and then change profile optimization logic. This task can be implemented on selected services and then be generalized to all services.
  • Create a capability to switch between a conservative and aggressive optimization logic where some customers can be upgraded outside of their SPs, then add lines to higher-tier services and upsell customers into those services. The two versions of the service, one normal and one “on steroids,” can be switched for customers through ASSIA Expresse.
  • Launch a market campaign to increase rates based on a previous ASSIA Expresse service analysis of the whole operator network plus the definition and upload of new profiles.
  • Create a new service based on identification of lines capable of carrying a higher-tier service by utilizing the ASSIA Expresse service recommender and creating new profiles.

Conclusion

The impact of COVID-19 has changed internet usage patterns in dramatic ways, creating headaches for operators, but also significant new business opportunities for those that embrace the changes and put into place technologies that help them identify problems, design new strategies to improve service and encourage upselling to customers who now need to consume more.


The Case for Managed Home Wi-Fi | Download Free Paper

ASSIA
Marketing Team

Posted on May 13, 2020

The massive and likely permanent shift of office work to the home has created big problems for carriers as consumers strain networks both to the home and inside the home, assuming the carriers are responsible for device performance and connectivity issues. 

Fortunately, this also offers carriers a unique and urgent opportunity to take more control of the situation, reducing costs and increasing revenues. Managed home Wi-Fi includes the following opportunities:

  • Managing and reducing operational costs (OpEx) by gaining visibility of connectivity issues inside the home and leveraging diagnostic tools
  • Maximizing the ROI from capital investment (CapEx) by optimizing equipment and service performance
  • Creating new revenue streams
  • Reducing churn by giving customers a differentiated quality of experience

Learn how your company can utilize managed Wi-Fi to get the most out of this opportunity.

  • Please complete the form below to receive your download via email.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


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.

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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.

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

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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: