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光ケーブル企業によって高品質WiFiが実現できるのか?

Can Cable Deliver a High-Quality WiFi Experience?

 

出版社 出版年月電子版価格 ページ数
Heavy Reading
ヘビーリーディング社
2016年1月US$1,495
エンタープライズライセンス
19

サマリー

米国調査会社ヘビーリーディング社(Heavy Reading)の調査レポート「光ケーブル企業によって高品質WiFiが実現できるのか?」は、ケーブル会社のWi-Fi採用を明示し、ケーブルプロバイダとサプライヤの市場促進要因と採用について記載しています。Wi-Fi QoEにフォーカスしているいくつかの新規企業など、10社のサプライヤの概要とケーブル会社のWi-Fiサポートについて記載しています。



EXECUTIVE SUMMARY (エグゼクティブサマリー/PDF

The cable industry continues to make enormous strides with WiFi technology. By rolling out WiFi hotspots that now number in the millions, cable service providers are establishing themselves as key providers of American consumers' wireless experience inside the home. By blanketing communities with these hotspots and fostering seamless roaming, cable WiFi services increasingly are expanding outside the home and serving schools, businesses and other institutions, as well.

With an estimated 14 million cable WiFi hotspots in the U.S. by year end, cable providers are exploring next-generation service opportunities. New uses of WiFi that already are making their way into the field include in-home wireless gateways, WiFi First phone service and voice over WiFi (VoWiFi). WiFi developers foresee additional opportunities in wireless video, upselling Internet tiers, business services and other emerging applications.

Now that the cable industry has established its initial WiFi footprint, it is entering a second, vitally important phase of expansive deployment and service application – Cable WiFi 2.0, if you will. But its forays require that cable overcome WiFi's limitations, optimize their wireless networks and provide a high quality of experience (QoE) for users.

The cable industry has made great strides by embracing WiFi. MSOs continue to deploy hotspots and explore new opportunities for cable WiFi. In turn, they are seeing the benefits of extending cable services via WiFi in the form of customer retention, competitive positioning and potential revenue opportunities with both residential and business customers.

Many initiatives are coming together to support cable WiFi, though some need to be expedited. The industry talks about providing carrier-grade WiFi, but specifications, certifications and consensus is still required. HotSpot 2.0 and related initiatives have generated more talk than action. In a positive sign, new attention is being paid to using monitoring, metrics and data analytics to improve WiFi performance and customer satisfaction.

Those who are looking for a quick revenue boost from WiFi will need to be patient. At this stage, cable companies need to build out their wireless capabilities so they can take advantage of revenue opportunities that may take some time to develop. Like the rollout of cable's digital platforms and broadband capabilities, cable WiFi is sure to provide new business rewards, some of which may not have even be imagined yet.

Can Cable Deliver a High-Quality WiFi Experience? explores the opportunities for next-generation WiFi services and the delivery challenges for cable providers. Many emerging technologies and solutions are emerging to squeeze the most capability out of WiFi and make it a carrier-grade service. Best practices through data analysis and customer care are providing new ways to improve the user experience. It also explores cable's WiFi deployment, the market drivers and its implications for cable providers and suppliers. Included are profiles of 10 suppliers that are supporting cable's WiFi efforts, including some newer players that are focusing on WiFi QoE.

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Cable Seeks Cures for WiFi's Ills

Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
Craig Leddy

12/11/2015

 

How many times have you said something like this: "The WiFi here sucks!"?

Now, the cable industry is seeking to improve WiFi capability, according to a new Heavy Reading report, "Can Cable Deliver a High-Quality WiFi Experience?"

WiFi has become integral to cable service as millions of customers increasingly depend on it as an adjunct to using high-speed Internet and watching video. By the end of this year, Heavy Reading estimates that US cable providers will have deployed 14 million hotspots, including CableWiFi hotspots and homespots that utilize in-home WiFi capability.

The primary challenges are clear to anyone who uses WiFi, a best-effort technology running on unlicensed spectrum. The signal disappears, the Internet slows, downloads quit, video freezes and on and on. It all adds up to a frustrating user experience.

From a quality of experience (QoE) perspective, cable has an opportunity to provide a leading wireless experience, Heavy Reading says. By offering reliable WiFi, cable providers can relieve the pain points for today's users, support customer retention and establish a wireless extension for their existing services, as well as new revenue-based applications.

Many of the technical requirements for improving QoE are included in emerging definitions of carrier-grade WiFi, Hotspot 2.0 (branded as Passpoint) specifications for seamless roaming, 802.11ac routing and related initiatives. Cable and wireless organizations are supporting these efforts and the Heavy Reading report profiles ten cable technology suppliers that offer WiFi solutions.

But, so far, the industry initiatives have generated more talk than implementation, Heavy Reading concludes. In addition, providing high-level QoE goes beyond technical matters to address the overall user experience. Based upon comments from industry players and Heavy Reading's analysis, a QoE WiFi experience should include:

  • Single, unified sign-on for WiFi access to services
  • Automatic connection to the most applicable SSID
  • Fast onboarding and reception of bytes
  • Consistent and reliable signal strength across hotspots
  • Fast, reliable throughput for downloads and uploads
  • Secure connections throughout roaming
  • Simple user interfaces and navigation tools on devices

By improving QoE, cable can take fuller advantage of emerging opportunities, including in-home wireless gateways, voice over WiFi (VoWiFi) or other phone scenarios, TV Everywhere and other wireless video, upselling Internet services, business services and other applications.

As cable’s reliance on WiFi grows, competition between multiple system operators (MSOs) and mobile network operators (MNOs) will intensify, the report says. In addition to impending competition over new applications, cable forces are battling efforts by Long Term Evolution (LTE) providers to use unlicensed WiFi spectrum for LTE services (LTE-U). Companies in both camps are likely to bid in the 600MHz wireless spectrum auction tentatively scheduled to begin March 29, 2016. Get out your wallets.

— Craig Leddy, Contributing Analyst, Heavy Reading

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