In our connected world, bandwidth demands continue to grow. Our research shows that Wi-Fi traffic is steadily increasing and pushing demand beyond the limits of today’s networks. So, to keep pace with the expected quality of experience for video entertainment, remote work, telehealth, distance learning, and more, service providers are increasingly taking responsibility for the management and optimization of home Wi-Fi.
ASSIA CloudCheck, which leverages long-term diagnostics and optimization policies, offers many features to monitor, manage, and optimize home Wi-Fi Networks, including channel changing, band steering, and roaming. Here is how it helps to deliver optimal Wi-Fi to internet subscribers:
Band Steering for Optimal Wi-Fi Throughput
Band steering detects the best band to improve Wi-Fi throughput for consumers and dynamically adjusts to the best band. For example, when a device is far from an access point or blocked, it may steer it from the 5GHz band to the 2.4GHz band to improve coverage.
The 2.4GHz band is the oldest wireless standard, compared to the newer 5GHz band, but it has a longer range and a better capacity to penetrate solid objects. On the other hand, the 5GHz band transmits at higher speeds than the 2.4GHz band but can be lacking in range. And now, with the new standard of Wi-Fi 6E, the 6GHz band has become available, which provides an additional option with a massive amount of bandwidth for new generation devices. The first application we have developed for 6Ghz offers a high bandwidth channel for backhaul in Wi-Fi mesh networks. ASSIA CloudCheck takes all three of these bands into consideration to determine the best course of action for consumers.
ASSIA recently measured the effectiveness of its band steering, and we are therefore sharing our positive results. Researchers studied a group of stations, previously ineligible for band steering, that received optimization. With a total of half a million lines, half of which were assigned to CloudCheck’s optimizations, and half were designated as a control group.
We observed that many consumers experienced problems with coverage, and through CloudCheck’s real-time optimization we saw a remarkable improvement:
- the percentage of stations with coverage issues decreased by 28%.
- consumers with coverage issues were reduced from 8-9% to 5.6%.
- throughput of approximately 180 Mbps increased to up to 196 Mbps.
- used together with channel changing, repeat customer support calls were reduced significantly.
Channel Changing: A Balancing Act
While band steering is one piece of the puzzle, service providers that balance it with channel changing can further improve QoS. Channel changing reduces interference of access points and extenders in high-interference environments. For example, if a provider determines that a consumer could experience improved Wi-Fi through a less crowded channel, they can perform a scan to determine the best channel and shift it accordingly. CloudCheck looks at longer-term historical data to select the best channel.
There are several parameters to weigh when utilizing band steering and channel selection; thus, an intelligent solution is paramount for realizing the best results. For example, the 2.4GHz band offers fewer channels than the 5GHz band so consumers could experience interference if the software does not account for this and all other factors.
What’s more, band selection is now more complex with the availability of 6GHz. For example, while 5GHz can provide more than 20 channels that do not overlap, 6GHz opens an additional 100 channels. Thankfully, to optimize customers’ quality of experience, CloudCheck’s algorithms have extended the choices past 2.4GHz and 5GHz to the 6GHz band as devices come to market supporting it.
Roaming for Multiple Access Points
In our day and age where families are engaged in multiple video conferences, streaming, and other online activities, it is commonplace to leverage multiple access points (APs). This setup requires intelligence to ensure uninterrupted, optimal internet experiences. Consequently, roaming is used to move the connection of a device between different access points to ensure whole-home coverage for that device.
The simple solution for roaming is to find the best signal strength, CloudCheck goes on step further to take into account load balance to optimize the overall solution for all users.
When it comes to roaming, ASSIA CloudCheck offers superb intelligence. For example, machine learning determines the devices that roam well, and which roam badly – and adjusts to all situations at hand.
Band steering, channel changing, and roaming work in harmony and are proven methods for providing optimal coverage and increasing throughput, especially in areas impacted by bad signal strength.
For providers taking responsibility for managing their subscriber’s home Wi-Fi, ASSIA’s solutions offer the visibility and control they need. CloudCheck can help providers deliver the highest QoS to residential subscribers, reduce support costs, and increase revenue.
Contact us to learn more.