Delivering a Quality Wi-Fi Experience in the Connected Home

Kyriosity Blog

Delivering a Quality Wi-Fi Experience in the Connected Home
19Oct|2016

Consumers have been living in the connected home for quite some time. The average household has 8 connected devices and some homes have far more. And because there are so many connected devices that consumers rely on, which includes smartphones, laptops, and smart home devices (thermostats, lightbulbs, music systems, security systems, etc.), the distinction between broadband and Wi-Fi have blurred. End users expect devices to work, period. This expectation puts significant stress on the network device provider to deliver a positive end user experience for customers, and this is where Kyrio’s Testing Services can help.

devices-in-home-without-textProblems in the Connected Home

Thinking in terms of the connected home, the end user experience can be disrupted in several different ways. Examples include something as simple as interrupted web browsing on a smartphone or laptop device, flaky playback on a wireless speaker system, latency issues when playing a graphics-intensive video game, or video over Wi-Fi issues during the big game.

To exacerbate problems, consumers also expect that their end devices function flawlessly due to strides made in user experience (UX) design. And when the experience doesn’t exceed the consumer’s expectation, they expect the service provider to make it right. The reality is that any of these issues can result in one or more service call(s) to the house to fix the problem. In the end, this means lost revenue for the operator.

Delivering the Best User Experience

The problems outlined above demonstrate the need to provide a superb experience for the end user. For an operator, even the best laid plans can be derailed by variety of issues, including software upgrades to the device, in-home positioning of the access point (or an access point moved by the customer after installation), and interference.

Wi-Fi device performance can vary greatly due to design, software, electronics, antennas, housings and other factors resulting in unexpected signal attenuation, inconsistent channel transmission levels, and device orientation. In addition, there are no formal performance requirements standards that Wi-Fi device manufacturers must meet. Although the FCC defines upper level power limits, meeting these requirements isn’t indicative of a device’s actual performance in the home.

Thorough characterization and performance testing is now a best practice prior to purchase or deployment of Wi-Fi equipment. 3D signal analysis, rate vs. range, data throughput and auto channel selection are a few of the basic required tests of any access point or gateway. Devices deployed in video over Wi-Fi services require increased testing to validate throughput over time, AP loading, and adjacent channel testing to ensure video can be delivered to TVs throughout the home or multiple dwelling units (MDUs).

These types of tests provide information vital to network providers prior to deployment to ensure that a costly issue does not get manufactured and deployed to thousands or millions of devices. A single bad experience for the end customer not only results in lost revenue, but also diminished brand reputation, and the cost of deploying a substandard device far outweighs the cost of performance testing to begin with.

Kyrio is equipped to test the performance of Wi-Fi devices, including network gateways, embedded and standalone Wi-Fi access points, antenna and enclosure designs, and end user devices. Kyrio’s Rhode & Schwarz anechoic chamber, Ixia Ix Chariot, IxVeriWave equipment, octoBox testbed, and 5,000 sq. ft. test house make it possible to understand, assess, and optimize device performance for residential deployments.

Kyrio Testing Services prides itself in delivering the best end user experience possible and working with our customers throughout a variety of problems.

Learn more about Kyrio Testing Services.

Wylie Nelson
Wylie Nelson
VP of Wireless and Testing Services