devolo takes a look at the growing trends in the world of home networking
Many technology trends have a strong impact on the home network – which affects the customer experience. If the home network is unfit to deliver the performance needed e.g. for video-on-demand, streaming or online gaming, it becomes a bottleneck. What is needed are high-performing home networks, characterized by three aspects: availability, performance and convenience
Availability – The need for a distributed network
Availability in terms of whole home Wi-Fi coverage depends the housing situation of the customer, and that situation is different from customer to customer and from country to country. In Spain or Germany e. g., the majority lives in flats and in UK or the Netherlands more people live in semi-detached houses. While semi-detached houses might not necessarily be larger, the way they are built is different – e. g. with different floors and stairs. In most cases therefore one device is not enough to cover the entire home. Customers therefore need a distributed solution, consisting of several well-placed access points to provide WiFi and LAN where you need it.
Performance – It’s all about choosing the right backbone
If you secure availability through a distributed network, you have to make sure this network performs in terms of delivering high-speed connections at a reasonable price-performance-ratio. Currently, pure WiFi solutions are fashionable. But WiFi has several problems, caused by the material our houses are built of: thick walls or ceilings block the signal – e. g. through reinforced concrete, up to two third of the signal gets lost.
Moreover, we must keep in mind, the WiFi spectrum is often used in the backchannel – but saving WiFi spectrum is essential because we know the need for additional bandwidth will further increase. Data growth demands spectrum and data transport on WiFi channels will grow immensely in the future as well. Even in the 5 GHz band with more bandwidth, spectrum will become a limited resource.
Increasing the efficiency of the 5 GHz band could be done by adding more antennas. But this leads to a linear growth of component costs per chain, which can be significant if it ends up with multiple MIMO chains. In addition to that, each additional antenna enlarges the product, making it more expensive in production, BOM and use (energy).
Therefore, the best approach for saving spectrum is to implement the separate backbone chain over the powerline. The beauty of a powerline backbone is: It doesn’t get blocked by concrete or bricks – and it’s available in almost every home. Every power outlet could be a WiFi access point, each AP offers pure last meter WiFi, which means full performance in every corner. Moreover, the use of G.hn makes powerline communications (PLC) stronger than ever: The new devolo Magic series e.g. enables speeds of up to 2,4 Gbit/s and significantly increases stability and reach compared to other PLC based solutions.
Convenience: Translating network complexity into user simplicity
Regardless of the underlying technology of the backbone, a technical system delivering internet connectivity must hide all the technical complexity behind automation and simplification. The focus of home networks therefore must be shifted from a device-centric to a network centric approach. This is supported through self-organizing network features, freeing customers from complicated installation, set-up and maintenance. WiFi mesh features, Multi Access Points and intelligent comfort feature management, e.g. by devolo’s Config Sync, not only ease the set-up of a home network. They actively ensure, customers experience the best performance with any device they use and keep informed about important events within their home network.
Download devolo’s white paper ‘How smart WiFi networks ease your customers’ lives – and yours‘
To learn how to deliver higher speed, higher customer satisfaction and lower churn rate, Sebastian Richter – Director Product Creation of develo AG will share his expertise on ‘How operators can benefit from perfect home networking’