A major European operator needed to select a new multi-node Wi-Fi product for the consumer household market. Here is how the company was able to decide which vendor offered the best solution.
Comparative Multi-Node Wi-Fi Solution Testing for a Major European Operator
The increasing number of connected devices and desire for high quality video bandwidth throughout the home are driving the in-home connectivity trend towards “Wi-Fi everywhere”. With this concept, households are looking for solutions to have fast, good quality connectivity throughout the home. To remain competitive, service providers are seeking advanced in-home connectivity solutions, such as a multi-node, or mesh, Wi-Fi system.
Our client’s situation
A major European operator wanted to provide a better Wi-Fi experience for their customers by offering a multi-node home Wi-Fi solution.
Multi-node Wi-Fi solutions can provide full home coverage with improved throughput in hard-to-reach locations and seamless roaming of mobile devices around the home.
The operator needed help to decide which multi-node solution it should deploy and turned to Cartesian for support.
What we did
Our Wi-Fi Services team worked with our client to determine the characteristics of their ideal Wi-Fi product. We then devised and performed empirical Wi-Fi tests to score and rank the performance of rival multi-node solutions.
- Onboarding/Installation. Example tests: What is the customer experience of ‘onboarding’? How easy is it to set up the multi-node solution, and to find and use any associated app to optimize the placement of the solution’s nodes?
- Empirical Performance. Example tests: How does the performance of the multi-node Wi-Fi solution compare with the standalone legacy router that the customer has today? Does the solution deliver the consistent high throughput, whole home coverage that it promises?
- Roaming Behaviour. Example tests: If the customer streams a video to a smartphone and roams around their home how well does the multi-node solution perform – any buffering or disconnections?
- Network Capacity. Example tests: How future-proof is the multi-node Wi-Fi solution? For example, will it support large numbers of Ultra HD video streams being streamed to several Wi-Fi clients concurrently?
Our simulations tested performance of the solutions in “outside-the-lab” conditions that considered real-life scenarios throughout the product lifecycle and the customer journey.
We provided unbiased insights and user-experience considerations to our client. For example, we found that the high performance of some multi-node solutions was negated by a poor onboarding experience. The operator was looking for an easy self-install experience to avoid large numbers of installation support calls that may also lead to product returns and a negative brand image.
Our client received:
- Access to an unbiased, independent, expert test team;
- An interference-free test environment;
- Multiple user scenario tests/simulations;
- Video and telco network specialist advice; and,
- A detailed report setting out the results of the independent tests.
Our client gained valuable insights into the pros and cons of the rival multi-node Wi-Fi solutions. Based on our findings, they could make an informed decision on the choice of multi-node product. The operator was also able to use the test results for product specifications and marketing of their whole-home smart Wi-Fi service.