Consumers expect great Wi-Fi, even as the number of connected devices continues to grow. They want good Wi-Fi coverage everywhere in their home and, as broadband connections deliver gigabit speeds, the subscriber’s experience of the overall service is determined by their Wi-Fi performance.
ARRIS helps service providers meet and exceed subscriber’s expectations with solutions that improve Wi-Fi coverage and performance while making it simple for the consumer. Our solutions enable service providers to deliver premium services over Wi-Fi, such as UHD sports to wireless set-tops and new applications such as IoT and virtual reality. ARRIS provides the predictability needed to deliver service promises that increase customer satisfaction.
It starts with home network devices that are easy to install, configure, and manage making it simple for the customer while reducing support costs. Simplifying common tasks, so subscribers are able to complete themselves or they can be remotely resolved:
- Find their Wi-Fi password or SSID
- See what’s happening on their network
- Resolving problems themselves
- Allowing guest access or removing people and devices from their network
- Prioritizing usage, such as parents vs. children, video vs. peer-to-peer, or work vs. personal
- Limiting children’s network access
The ARRIS advantage
The ARRIS approach is to focus on the end consumer experience, by addressing the issues driving customer dissatisfaction & operator support costs. Most Wi-Fi support customer calls are about SSID and passwords. Providing self-help tools which help subscribers find this information and enable them to manage their networks reduces the number of calls and operators’ costs. Providing tools for customer service representatives to see and control the subscriber’s network also reduces the need for expensive truck rolls.
Better still is to identify and fix problems automatically before the customer is even aware. ARRIS offers solutions that auto-configure network extenders and self-optimize the home network. Our tools and processes continuously monitor and analyze network performance to improve service levels. While others rush Wi-Fi innovations to market ahead of standardization, ARRIS solutions are scalable, secure, built on open standards, and hardware independent.
The optimum Wi-Fi home network starts in the gateway, with high-speed broadband access and a high-quality Wi-Fi access point.
Good antenna design, video QoS, dedicated video SSID, and dynamic and adaptive airtime management capabilities optimize video delivery throughout the home network.
ARRIS gateways may also include radios such as ZigBee, Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE) and IoT software environments to support IoT services.
Wi-Fi extenders provide additional access points where coverage in the home is poor. ARRIS extenders are easy for subscribers to install and configure, which reduces installation and support costs. ARRIS extenders use the ARRIS Home Network Extender (HNE) protocol to automatically use the same SSID as the gateway, and to automate other configuration and provisioning tasks.
Extenders require a connection back to the gateway. Using existing home wiring is ideal, such as the electrical circuits (Powerline Communications – PLC) or coax cable, using MoCA or G.hn. Ethernet usually requires running new wires throughout the home. Wireless is also an easy to install option, using Wi-Fi for both the gateway connection and for local device access, although the consumer has to ensure the extender is within range of the gateway.
Another consideration is the form factor of the extender, placement of router-style devices is more flexible, while devices that plug into a power outlet are easier to install.
As a global leader in home gateways and wireless set-tops ARRIS has a deep understanding of Wi-Fi and home networks, access networks, and optimizing video delivery in the home with a history of delivering industry-leading Wi-Fi products.
- Advanced Wireless Possibilities: A White Paper on Alternative Home Networking Architectures for the Future of Wi-Fi Services
- Gigabit Wi-Fi - Is it Driving a Home Network Topology that Requires an Access Point in Every Room?
- What is the Role of Connected Home Gateways and Set-tops in the IoT?
Homes with gateways and extenders need coordination between Wi-Fi access points to maximize performance and simplify the consumer experience.
As devices move within the home they tend to remain connected to the same access point even if an extender with a better signal is available (the ‘sticky client’ problem). Or, an access point with many devices nearby may be oversubscribed, with the interconnect constraining bandwidth. Even if nearby access point has additional capacity, but has a lower signal level, devices tend to remain connected to the stronger signal.
Access Point Steering solves these issues by seamlessly moving devices to access points that have better performance characteristics.
Band Steering automatically moves devices from a saturated band, say in 5GHz, to a free band, say in 2.4GHz to avoid congestion.
Prioritizing high-value services, such as UHD to wireless set-tops, helps deliver the service levels consumers expect from their TV service.
The ARRIS HNC (Home Network Controller) optimizes access points in the home automatically, in real-time, with no subscriber intervention. The ARRIS HNC software resides in the home network for best performance.
ARRIS HNC features include:
- Access Point and Band Steering for seamless device handoff between access points and Wi-Fi bands
- Provides information to the ECO Service Management platform for troubleshooting and self-healing
- Built on open-standards, supporting Wi-Fi SoC independence
Efficient network management
As the home network becomes more complex you need a comprehensive set of tools to provide the visibility, control, analytics and automation to deliver and improve the customer experience. The modular ECO Service Management platform includes features such as:
- Subscriber self-service web portal and applications to allow customers to view and changes their home network (e.g. change SSID and password, grant guest access, set parental controls), so reducing contacts to call centers
- Tools for customer service representatives to view and manage subscriber networks, including extenders and connected devices, and to remotely assist subscribers with configuration and problem resolution
- Tools to monitor and analyze performance data from home networks to tune ARRIS HNC policies and the consumer experience
- Modular, which together with ARRIS’s proven services can integrate with the existing service management environment
Charles Cheevers on the future home network
As ARRIS CTO for CPE Solutions, Charles Cheevers is responsible for the 2-5 year technology vision of ARRIS CPE business including the evolution of home networks and Wi-Fi. Charles is a well-known visionary and innovator in the pay TV industry where he worked fourteen years developing DVB and DOCSIS headend and CPE solutions. He’s currently focusing on the future connected home.
He received the Cable and Satellite Euro50 award in 2006 and 2011 for contributions to cable technology, and was a top 5 shortlisted nominee in 2011.
“Operators must build in-home networks that can cope with the expected growth in bandwidth consumption driven by the proliferation of connected devices and the popularity of ultra-high-bandwidth applications such as virtual reality gaming.” - Charles Cheevers
Streaming video, including 4K UHD TV, and migration of QAM-based video to IP, require bandwidths in the home of about 25Mbps but provisioned airtime of 100-125Mbps to ensure buffer free streaming. Growth of the following applications will dramatically increase bandwidth demands in homes:
- UHD video over IP will require four times more bandwidth than today’s 5Mbps 1080p.
- 8K TVs (probably wall-mounted and wirelessly connected) and existing applications could require over 100Mbps.
- HD Stereoscopic virtual reality could add 192Mbps.
- UHD Stereoscopic virtual reality could require 576Mbps or more, or 10 times more bandwidth than IP video requires.
As high-bandwidth applications grow, so will the number of connected devices that consume video wirelessly. ARRIS has the expertise you need to be ready for this trouble-free wireless connected home.