Mesh Wi-Fi: The key to delivering ultra-fast, whole-home Wi-Fi coverage

As Internet of Things (IoT) devices, Ultra High Definition (UHD) TV and Over the Top (OTT) services become increasingly present throughout the home, delivering superfast gigabit connectivity and whole-home Wi-Fi coverage is a must for operators.

However, this is one of operators’ biggest headaches, as the ultra-fast broadband service they deliver to the home is often undone by poor in-house wireless coverage.

Overcoming hurdles

In today’s technology-driven society, having unreliable Wi-Fi and dead-zones within the home or a business can be extremely frustrating for the end-user. Furthermore, the concept of Wi-Fi and broadband access are synonymous for many end-users, meaning service providers are on the front line of customer complaints. According to Light Reading and, at least 30 percent of operators’ support calls are related to Wi-Fi issues, with 60-80 percent of calls escalated to tier-two support.

However, delivering gigabit connectivity and whole-home Wi-Fi coverage is no easy feat for operators. The worst conditions are in buildings with heavy concrete or steel construction since concrete, bricks or chicken wire, can be complete showstoppers. Within the home, physical obstacles on the propagation path also create barriers and have a significant impact on wireless signals.

In light of these obstacles, a single Wi-Fi access point is not enough to cover the whole house or apartment. If operators are to improve Wi-Fi connectivity and performance within the home, a new approach is required.

Cue Mesh Wi-Fi

In addition to home gateways, multiple satellite access points are required to meet the demands of today’s end-users.

This allows a dynamically established Mesh Wi-Fi network to be set up between the satellite access points, enabling greater coverage and bandwidth for end-users throughout the home. Within a mesh network, even the furthest satellite is able to deliver a strong and reliable Wi-Fi signal, enabling end-users to stream their favourite TV show with the same quality as they would receive in their living room where their Wi-Fi router is located.

Ending the headaches

For end-users to truly reap the benefits of Mesh Wi-Fi, the access points must be able to deliver dependable Wi-Fi coverage with seamless roaming and automatic handover to numerous wireless clients, no matter how big the location.

To address these needs, Iskratel, a leader in broadband access solutions, has developed its own Mesh Wi-Fi solution, designed to enable operators to deliver seamless, whole-home coverage with wireless gigabit connectivity.

Featuring zero-touch setup, the solution provides management, provisioning and diagnostics which can be integrated into GPON home gateways and the auto-configuration TR-069 system. As a result, operators can optimise operations to reduce operational expense and improve monitoring of equipment, enabling them to resolve network issues before their customers complain. Furthermore, the solution enables end-users to access an easy-to-use mobile app to monitor the performance of their Wi-Fi network.

Following the successful testing of Iskratel’s Mesh Wi-Fi solution with commercial operators, reports show that they have received 50% fewer customer calls and 67% fewer truck rolls, resulting in reduced field-installation costs.

End Result

With such successful results, it is easy to see why operators across the world are looking to deploy Mesh Wi-Fi solutions. Iskratel has already successfully deployed the solution for Slovenia’s leading fibre-optical broadband provider, T-2, enabling the operator to provide its customers with access to high-performance, low-latency Wi-Fi in every corner of the home.

With the right solution to hand, operators can reap the benefits of simplified network management, while delivering enhanced Wi-Fi performance to its customers. This, in turn, will position them to meet the increasing demands of their customers for whole-home coverage and ultrafast connectivity, all whilst reducing operational costs.