RDK, Telenet up the ante on Wi-Fi management and performance

Boost to wireless comms as operator introduces smart Wi-Fi 6 pods and mesh technology combined with the latest modem, while technology consortium launches software component designed to unify residential Wi-Fi software

Developments from technology RDK Management consortium RDK and leading Belgian operator Telenet have shown the new wireless technology frontiers that ensure hybrid working can take place.

In its latest move, RDK has announced the availability of a unified Wi-Fi software management component for residential gateways, access points and mesh extenders to provide advanced Wi-Fi management and telemetry features to the it community. The new open-source code software component was contributed via a collaboration of between US operator Comcast and the OpenSync community. 

RDK aims to enable service providers to control their device diagnostics data, business models and apps to improve customer experience and drive business results. The software platform standardises core functions used in broadband, video and internet of things (IoT) connected devices. By standardising these functions, RDK assures that service providers can develop and deploy applications and services, independent of hardware platforms.

The open-source software components in the RDK-B Wi-Fi management software are designed to standardise core functions used in broadband CPE across network access technologies including DOCSIS, GPON, DSL, and Fixed Wireless. It aims to provide a consistent technical approach for routing, device management, diagnostics, DNS settings, IoT interfaces (i.e. Bluetooth, Thread, Zigbee) and more.

By standardising these functions, RDK said that service providers can develop and deploy a consistent set of applications and services across various chipset and hardware suppliers. One of the key components of RDK-B is Wi-Fi management software. The software also standardises core functionality used in Wi-Fi gateways, access points, and Mesh extenders/pods for operators deploying OpenSync or Wi-Fi EasyMesh. It also provides common methods to manage features such as band steering, device telemetry, and interoperability with cloud-based Wi-Fi management systems via the common RDK message bus (RBus).

Comcast and the OpenSync community worked jointly on the contributed component, which will become the default for RDK-B, and be maintained by RDK Management going forward.

“Wi-Fi connectivity, monitoring and optimisation are foundationally important to operators throughout the RDK community,” said Jason Briggs, president and general manager of RDK.

“The Wi-Fi management software is designed to address these critical needs. The kind of technical leadership and collaboration between Comcast, OpenSync and Plume is the hallmark of what makes RDK such a central and innovative open-source community for broadband operators around the globe.”

RDK’s Wi-Fi management software component is interoperable with various cloud Wi-Fi management platforms from leading third-party providers. The consortium believes such SaaS platforms generally deliver a rich set of real-time and historical KPIs, using sophisticated cloud data analysis to enable CSP support, operations and engineering teams to measure subscribers’ connectivity and performance.

In addition, it said that by using cloud-based connectivity predictions and capabilities to optimise their networks at scale, consumers can benefit from more reliable, whole-home connectivity that is personalised to their unique needs.

As it aims to deliver such Wi-Fi connectivity – when expectations are continuously increasing for seamless connectivity across homes, with the same speed and without hiccups – Telenet has partnered with personalised communications services firm Plume to launch a brand new Wi-Fi system to consumers throughout Belgium.

The Telenet 360 degree Wi-Fi solution is powered by Plume’s  intelligent cloud- and AI-based technology, using adaptive Wi-Fi and its SuperPod designs, to deliver a dynamic, self-learning system that continuously monitors the home network to ensure an uninterrupted Wi-Fi signal. The unit makes use of self-steering and smart hardware to ensure an optimal Wi-Fi signal and solve problems before users are aware of them.

For example, if a baby monitor or the neighbour’s Wi-Fi network causes a disruption, the system automatically picks a better frequency or a less frequented Wi-Fi channel for your devices. The system continuously responds to the network usage and keeps the Internet traffic on the right track. The pods continually interact with each other and with the latest Telenet 360° Modem via mesh technology, both of which support Wi-Fi 6.

Telenet has also integrated the smart software into its official app so that in addition to making it easier for users to install the system, it has the possibility of responding faster and better to potential network issues. Telenet could be able to  transmit push messages if a Wi-Fi pod is offline or is not in the right position.

“Wi-Fi is of crucial importance to the customer experience. Good Wi-Fi results in happy customers. We aim to provide them with the best technology, thereby unburdening our customers to the best of our ability. Installing Wi-Fi throughout your home should be as easy as switching on your TV or vacuum cleaner,” said Dieter Nieuwdorp, responsible for marketing at Telenet.

“We’ve therefore developed a single internet ecosystem in which all components are aligned to each other. As a result, it’s very easy to install and manage via the Telenet app, and both the customer and customer service have a better overview of the proper operation or any possible malfunctions of the home network.”

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