WBA proposes simplifying wifi architecture

Written by Andrew Wooden for Telecoms.com

WBA proposes simplifying wifi architecture

Wifi industry body the Wireless Broadband Alliance has put forward proposals for a single operator-managed wifi architecture, instead of the multiple versions currently in play.

Operator managed wifi appears to be a term which does what it says on the tin – wifi which is managed by an operator. What’s being proposed is a framework that will combine multiple standards to streamline wifi data collection, wifi management, configuration, and optimisation of home networks.

The WBA says it’s driving this because currently there are several different operator-managed ‘wifi solutions’ on the market which use different methods for data collection, communication between the Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) and the cloud, remote management, and mesh formation.

We’re told ‘each approach tries to solve the same problems in a different way, which yields non-interoperable and non-reusable solutions’ and therefore a holistic solution for an operator-managed wifi network would be a desirable thing.

The paper’s purports to put forward a reference architecture ‘that combines the benefits of all available standards’ – including Wi-Fi Alliance (WFA) Wi-Fi EasyMeshTM, Wi-Fi Certified Data ElementsTM, and Broadband Forum (BBF) User Services Platform (USP) Data Models TR-369 and TR-181.

“Wi-Fi and internet have become interchangeable terms in recent years,” said Tiago Rodrigues, CEO of the Wireless Broadband Alliance. “A user’s perceived quality of experience is therefore tied to the performance of their in-home Wi-Fi network. This is putting pressure on operators to better manage their residential Wi-Fi services.

“There are countless operator-managed Wi-Fi solutions currently on the market, all using different proprietary or standard methods for data collection, remote management, mesh formation, etc, making it extremely difficult for operators to provide a consistent level of service for their users. WBA and its members are seeking to change that with a new reference architecture that combines the best standards into one, holistic, cost-effective solution.”

Sascha Dech, System Architect and Lead Developer User Interfaces at Deutsche Telekom added: “As an industry we are always trying to get faster internet speeds to our customers. While we are making progress in  getting it to customers homes, we also see an increasing demand to get proper managed residential Wi-Fi solutions in place. Standardisation of components helps us to deliver on our key promises, a great user experience as well as having a reliable and fast connection to the internet.”

It’s quite in the weeds stuff but the point seems to be there are a few different technologies/approaches to setting up wifi in the home in play at the moment, and it would be simpler if there was just one – which on the surface seems like a fair enough proposition. The WBA name checks BT and Deutsche Telekom as collaborators, so the next step would presumably be to gauge what the rest of the market thinks about it.

Click here to read the original article.

Share article