Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Arris CALA Executive Forum

Connected household needs mobile fixed-convergence

Hugo Ramos, Regional Chief Technologist of Arris, as well as other speakers at Arris CALA Executive Forum developed in Miami at the end of August, put in the center of the connected home the concept of mobile fixed convergence. They agreed that it is not just about reaching high speeds, but to ensure an uninterrupted wireless connection at home, with standards that allow the same quality of experience in each room.

WiFi devices in the home are dominant in quantity but the lack of standardization in certain layers of the OSI (Open System Interconnection) model makes it difficult to manage them. For example, while the physical layer has definitions of the different WiFi standards, the antenna gain or power are not defined, which makes it difficult to harmonize the user experience.

In Latin America, the characteristics of the materials that make up the buildings, such as brick walls, impose additional challenges. According to a study conducted by Arris in the region, 79% of people live in apartments and 21% in houses, and 77% are homes with more than three rooms. This means that in order to get to the third room, assuming they are linearly located, both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz home WiFi networks have a very weak signal in the third room. Consequently, the wired connection speed that reaches the house is no longer perceived with quality by the user connected via a wireless device. To this it is added that home connectivity prices in Latin America are high in relation to the purchasing power of the population; and for all this it is relevant to make it possible to manage the home WiFi network quality.

Arris solution. During this year, Arris launched two gateways (NVG578 and NVG558) to provide high-speed WiFi connectivity and solve standard issues. They have options to offer the 802.11ac standard and update it to 802.11ax in configurations having two and three built-in frequency bands. The NVG578 gateway is designed to support triple play services by integrating technologies that can include 4GLTE and 3.5Ghz (CBRS in the United States), as well as eventually support future equipment in 5G. The NVG 578 equipment optionally incorporates radio support for IoT.

Complementarily, under Arris Home Assure line, the manufacturer announced its Wireless Extender in early August 2018 under the Easy Mesh standard, the first WiFi extender certified by the WiFi Allliance. The objective is to amplify 1Gbps speed distances when used with other devices certified by the standard.

These solutions allow an easy configuration for the home user and network management functionalities such as, for example, turning off the Wi-Fi network at a certain time.

Consulted on the necessary investments to move towards this type of home networks, Ramos indicated that if each case is different, for the cable operator the main benefit is savings in time and costs. Something that would be drastically reduced would be calls to call centers for network management issues. They are, according to Ramos, solutions that allow savings and repay in the short term. To the point that the medium-long-term trend for all providers is to move towards the "WiFi carrier grade" at the home.

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