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Broadband service providers need focus on home Wi-Fi latency, QoE

Report commissioned by managed Wi-Fi technology provider shows the global acceleration of FTTH, the growing need to focus on latency and the importance of deploying in-home Smart Wi-Fi to enhance QoE

A report from analyst Omdia has found that even though more than 40% of households worldwide will have fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) connectivity by 2027 and the move to more advanced broadband access technologies is enabling ever-faster broadband speeds, speed alone will no longer be a competitive advantage for broadband operators.

The paper, titled Ensuring consistent home Wi-Fi QoE is critical to broadband success, commissioned from managed Wi-Fi solutions provider Airties, highlighted the global acceleration of ultra-high-speed internet, the growing need for operators to focus on latency, and the importance of deploying in-home Smart Wi-Fi to enhance Quality of Experience (QoE) for subscribers.

While the study stresses that speed improvements are impressive – there has been a 500% increase in the average speed over the past five years, and a further 200% increase expected across all regions in the next five years – it also notes that more applications will be interactive in nature in the future. These applications will be relying as much on low latency as speed, and operators need the right software management tools to identify applications and optimise users’ Wi-Fi performance to avoid the bottleneck simply moving to the in-home network.

Data from the report demonstrates the critical need for broadband service providers to deploy smart Wi-Fi software that can monitor, predict and solve performance issues. It warns that a lack of home Wi-Fi investment can lead to an increase in customer support calls, with up to 60% of all broadband service calls relating to Wi-Fi.

Potential additional inefficiency and unnecessary costs were also highlighted in the report. It observed that as many as 80% of routers that are returned as faulty are found to have no physical defect, or no fault found (NFF). In addition, there is the risk of unreported discontent, as up to 50–60% of subscribers with Wi-Fi-related issues do not report the problem. Such customers typically have a lower NPS of up to -20 points, making a bad Wi-Fi user experience a growing driver of broadband customer churn.

“As service providers continue their push towards full-fibre networks and gigabit broadband services, the ability to provide high-speed, low-latency and highly consistent Wi-Fi connectivity to every device and every corner of the home becomes a vital part of the end-to-end broadband strategy,” noted Michael Philpott, Omdia research director of service provider consumer.

“Not doing so quickly leads to customer dissatisfaction, which in turn leads to increased operational costs and customer churn. This report discusses the importance of deploying smart Wi-Fi with enhanced capabilities to address latency, application prioritisation, and continually optimise home Wi-Fi performance.”

The report also highlighted that service providers must invest in advanced Wi-Fi technology if the home network is not to become the new bottleneck to the delivery of high-quality broadband services and applications. 

“Demands placed upon today’s home Wi-Fi networks have never been higher,” added Metin Taskin, Airties co-CEO and founder. “For today’s intensive usage, especially with applications like high-definition video conferencing, cloud-based gaming, and AR/VR, broadband operators need ways to proactively manage the application experience across every connected device in the home.

“This new report…addresses key considerations around latency and QoE, and we’re pleased to help make it available to broadband service providers around the globe.”

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