AirTies' Philippe Alcaras and Technicolor's Gary Gutknecht Discuss the Growing Importance of Smart Wi-Fi to Network Service Provider Community

The number of devices relying on Wi-Fi access within the home is exploding. Along with the increase of devices, rising streaming needs are also creating conditions where Network Service Providers (NSPs) must focus on improving Wi-Fi connectivity within the home in order to provide the highest quality of experience subscribers expect. So say Philippe Alcaras, CEO of AirTies, and Gary Gutknecht, Chief Technology Officer for Technicolor Connected Home, in an audio interview for journalists covering the recent Mobile World Congress conference in Barcelona.

Gary Gutknecht, Technicolor

Gary Gutknecht, Technicolor

For several years, Wi-Fi has been a growing mission critical requirement for ensuring a consistent broadband service experience in the home. The customer expectations of both reach and speed are all based on wireless connectivity today, and all the most interesting devices that are coming on to the market are wireless," says Gutknecht.

NSPs will therefore need new technologies that can monitor service delivery, identify potential issues in advance, help with resolution, and efficiently manage a multiplicity of devices along with many different types of content. The emergence of next generation Wi-Fi solutions -- called Smart Wi-Fi -- will play a critical role in the relationship that NSPs have with their subscribers.

Philippe Alcaras, AirTies

Philippe Alcaras, AirTies

"Smart Wi-Fi is also about making available tools that will allow NSPs to proactively respond to -- and ultimately fix -- Wi-Fi issues quickly. From the consumer's standpoint, the Internet is increasingly becoming a basic need that must absolutely be available at all times, regardless of usage -- whether that is gaming, video streaming, or home automation," Alcaras explains.

According to Gutknecht there are five key steps for NSPs to master if they are going to provide the highest quality of experience to subscribers in a Wi-Fi environment:

  1. Visibility - NSPs must have tools -- like Wireless Doctor or Remote Manager -- that allow their teams to remotely monitor wireless service to diagnose problems at the subscribers' home, and then quickly resolve them.

  2. Proactive Channel Planning - Once NSPs have clear visibility into their subscribers' home network, they can leverage insight from existing gateways to clearly understand and maximize wireless usage -- not only taking into account the subscribers' home, but also adjacent residences that might cause interference – adjacent residences who may also have service from the same NSP.

  3. Intelligent Extenders - As NSPs ensure full wireless coverage in the home, it will be increasingly important to intelligently deploy extenders, because "more" may not always be "better."

  4. Self-Install - The complexity of Wi-Fi deployment needs to be effectively managed. One of the promises of the growing acceptance of EasyMesh is that it will allow customers to easily install multiple access points -- even from different vendors.

  5. Optimized Coverage - Once a residence has more than one access point location, thanks to the intelligent deployment of self-installable Wi-Fi extenders, NSPs can further improve wireless quality of experience in the home by allowing smart steering of clients between the deployed access points, based on physics as well as services being consumed.

(The full interview with AirTies' Philippe Alcaras and Technicolor's Gary Gutknecht is available to journalists by visiting: ).