AirTies Thought Leadership

Operators’ Home Wi-Fi Challenge Calls for Managed Mesh Solution

Amid Outpouring of New Twists on Old Approaches AirTies’ Field-Proven Platform Makes the Case for Managed Mesh Architecture

Part 1

Market Developments Mandate New Approach to Home Wi-Fi

Widespread recognition that support for superior home Wi-Fi performance is now vital to broadband operators’ strategic success has ignited global pursuit of new approaches to premises connectivity that can avoid the pitfalls of outdated technology.

The deficiencies of traditional Wi-Fi networking are opening an ever wider gap between broadband access rates and in-home throughput, resulting in a rising tide of complaints from subscribers who think they’re not getting what they paid for. To eliminate this threat to customer satisfaction once and for all operators want to be able to implement Wi-Fi platforms that will support uninterrupted high-speed connectivity of all services to all screens in and around the home, no matter how each household’s usage patterns evolve over time.

The search for the right solution has brought network operators to a major crossroads. In one direction they see solutions that use gateway- and cloud-based intelligence to upgrade performance on linear multi-hop and hub-spoke approaches to extending and improving coverage. Moving in the other direction, growing numbers of operators in the U.S. and around the world are implementing the whole-home Wi-Fi solution that AirTies has developed to leverage the intelligent networking power of wireless mesh architecture.

Part 1 of this two-part series looks at the market imperatives driving operators’ pursuit of managed home Wi-Fi solutions. Part 2 will explore technical requirements and the ways in which the AirTies Managed Mesh solution meets all those requirements.

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Managed Mesh Platform Eliminates Barriers to Robust In-Home Wi-Fi

Part 2

Demand for better Wi-Fi service solutions has generated a growing response from operators’ suppliers.

In some cases, they have simply added means of quality control over the Wi-Fi network that can be extended from the core gateway as new APs are connected to the gateway in a hub and spoke fashion.

Such systems offer visibility into performance on individual links and sometimes can even shift connectivity to the closest AP as users change locations, if the devices they’re using are equipped to be responsive to such commands. But, too often, such solutions rely on conventional repeaters, which, instead of making use of the 802.11 technology known as Wireless Distribution System (WDS), are designed to manipulate the MAC address of clients and create virtual client connections to the gateway when the clients roams to the repeater. Manipulating clients’ MAC addresses creates results in client disconnections and other issues.

In light of such drawbacks it’s no wonder that the industry has witnessed growing vendor support for a mesh-based approach to household Wi-Fi networking. The advantages of this architecture over one where all the intelligence is resident in a core gateway is exploited in business-class wireless LAN architectures as well as many other telecommunications network scenarios, including fiber backbone networking. In an advanced mesh network there is also a holistic level of intelligent control that ensures each network component manages communications in ways that maximize the efficiency of resource allocation across all sessions.

But the caveat with mesh networking is that along with having all the intelligence required to deliver the best possible whole-home experience, such solutions must be able to execute that intelligence at minimum costs with software that can work on CPU native to today’s APs, set-tops, gateways and other points with AP capabilities. By meeting these and other requirements, AirTies’ Managed Mesh platform has become the solution of choice among service providers worldwide who want to deliver the best possible Wi-Fi experience to their customers in all types of households.

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