Turkish WiFi specialist AirTies Wireless Networks, has moved its ability to look inside a home WiFi network which has multiple Access Points, up a notch, moving from just the ability to view what is going on in the network, to taking action to fix problems.
Remote View was the founding stone of this side of its business, introduced in May 2016. This is now understood to be on trial at more than 50 operators across North America, Europe and Asia. Remote View amounts to being able to monitor in-home WiFi performance from anywhere in the world, and analyze WiFi usage patterns and the devices which connect to them and how much bandwidth is flowing through each of them. As the world enters a multi-AP approach to improving home WiFi coverage and performance, operators are looking for the ability to manage a network of two or more APs.
One of the most critical issues facing ISPs are calls to help desks over broadband performance, which are in fact, temporary aberrations in WiFi behavior. Some estimates place this as high as 80% of all customer care calls, with $billions of wasted on sending engineers on “no fault found” truck rolls.
So Remote View was initially developed to peek into behavior in a WiFi network with multiple APs, and it relies on AirTies’ existing mesh architecture to share the data between the APs on speeds of connections, spectrum band selections and choice of AP by each client, as well as acknowledging the speed capability of those devices; and which 802.11 protocols they can use and their air-time consumption. It does this at the individual home level or can be aggregated data across numerous households. It is, in fact, the beginning of an entire analytics approach to WiFi performance.
What has been added now a cloud based Remote Manager and this can be used in a number of ways. It can either allow the consumer to self-manage his own WiFi usage patterns through an App, let a help desk intervene remotely when WiFi appears to be down, both diagnosing the problem and fixing it; or it can feed policy tools, such as AI or machine learning systems with data, so these can proactively monitor and adjust the network in real time.
AirTies has had feedback from multiple tier 1 ISPs, so it is likely that each of these strategies has been prioritized at different operators. The new cloud-based system was showcased for the first time at the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo in Denver and will also be at Broadband World Forum in Berlin this month.
This sits into the AirTies’ Managed WiFi Solution, a cloud-based system which can give real time insights into both WiFi provisioning and actual performance. The system adds the ability to send remote commands to the home network, over secure APIs or feed network performance data to a suite of specialized applications for customer care, field teams, network operations, and consumers. The whole thing can be held in a cloud such as Amazon Web Services or a private enterprise cloud.
“With today’s super-connected homes, it is imperative that service providers have real-time and historical insights about subscribers WiFi home performance, and the ability to act remotely – both proactively and reactively – to ensure a quality experience,” said Philippe Alcaras, CEO of AirTies Wireless Networks. “AirTies Remote Manager is designed to support their needs today and into the future. We’re confident it will enable service providers to remotely manage WiFi, diagnose and solve issues, and better serve their customers than they could ever do previously.”
The systems allows for device control and provisioning for the odd occasion when a customer cannot manage to self-install a router; it provides a secure transport path and APIs so that service providers can achieve remote control over subscribers’ home devices and extenders, gateways, or set-top boxes.
Service providers will be able to query or setup an Access Point and look into its wireless settings to enable or disable WiFi , setup parental controls, and provision guests. They can also integrate Remote Manager data to power their own support dashboards. Finally they can white label the AirTies app to grant consumers advanced WiFi controls, or use its data and SDK in their own App.
Such apps can raise issues with the network in real time and have the consumer resolve the issue directly by accepting a suggested option from the App.
AirTies makes the point that there is no need to download any client-side software on subscribers’ personal devices, because if you use the AirTies software, its’ mesh supplies all the data and the company assures us that it does not collect, store or process any sensitive end-user data, such as browser-level search data.
If you take the approximately 900 million global broadband lines with close to 800 million of them provided with at least one WiFi router, then simply upgrading home networks to each having two APs, creates overnight another 800 million marketplace for APs, which would double to 1.6 billion, each of which might require an instance of mesh or extender software, and lead to massive cloud based control mechanisms from every major operator, over the next 4 or 5 years. It has the potential to almost double the size of the WiFi market in financial terms and take away a lot of its perceived and actual weaknesses.
AirTies is understood to be speaking to multiple US tier 1 broadband players, about embracing its Remote View and Remote Manager architectures.