By Liam Clark on 02/03/20 11:44 AM
Co-written by Sonya Goodanetz
Welcome to Incognito’s USP Blog Series – Part 2 of 7
In part 1 of our series, we detailed what exactly is USP and what does it mean for device management. Part 2 is all about managed Wi-Fi! This article will explore how standards-based Wi-Fi optimization not only enables service providers to support the management of connected devices but also helps improve the in-home network experience of subscribers.
Operator Challenge #1: Skyrocketing Operator Support Costs of Wi-Fi
A 2020 Incognito Software Systems Inc. survey of global service providers identified that up to 75% of all inbound customer service calls are related to in-home Wi-Fi technical issues. It has been estimated that operators spend more than a billion dollars per year troubleshooting residential Wi-Fi. With the volume of customer care calls continuing to rise as the home Wi-Fi network becomes more complex, the pressure is on service providers to improve the home user experience while balancing the need to reduce operational costs.
Operator Challenge #2: Lack of Visibility into the Connected Home
The average North American home will have 13 devices connected by 2023, while some operators boast of over 50 connected devices in a single subscriber home today! This explosion in the number of connected devices sharing the same home Wi-Fi network, coupled with the rise of smart home automation and the need to manage various vendors over multiple access technologies, brings tremendous troubleshooting complexity to service providers. From the lack of real-time device data and metrics, as well as an ad-hoc, non-standardized approach to retrieve crucial diagnostics, service providers face challenges with gaining visibility into the performance of the home network to enhance the quality of service delivered to customers.
How do you Overcome These Challenges? Enter Wi-Fi Certified Data Elements
In 2019, the Wi-Fi Alliance published the Data Elements Specification to define a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) ascertaining network health as driving inputs to improve Wi-Fi service quality.
How can USP Drive Proactive Network Management Using Wi-Fi Certified Data Elements?
As USP supports real-time monitoring, telemetry, and bulk statistics collection, operators leveraging the next-gen device management and data collection protocol will be able to gain immediate visibility into the connected home. By using Wi-Fi Data Elements, operators will be able to detect and proactively resolve Wi-Fi issues before customers even notice there is a problem, as well as capture critical data on Wi-Fi network performance for trending and historical needs.
Which Wi-Fi Data Element KPIs will Benefit Operators the most?
The new specification equips operators with valuable KPIs addressing:
- Airtime utilization: Determine if overlapping channels between neighbors impede performance. Typical in urban densification
- Subscriber devices: An operator agent monitors and diagnoses the capabilities and performance of specific devices within the home network. For example, does a phone only support 2.4 GHz?
- Multi-access point: Assess Wi-Fi premise coverage. Are more access points required, or should existing access points be moved inside the home for optimal coverage? This also includes steering devices to ensure always-on connectivity.
In part 2 of Incognito's USP blog series exploring the topic of managed Wi-Fi, we identified two main challenges facing operators in delivering this value-added service – skyrocketing operational costs associated with tracking the tremendous number of connected devices, and the lack of visibility into the home (or small-business) Wi-Fi network. The new Wi-Fi Data Elements aims to alleviate these pains with proactive network management, and Wi-Fi service quality KPIs harnessing USPs real-time monitoring, telemetry, and bulk statistics collection capabilities.