The growing number of connected devices in the home means that customers are relying on residential Wi-Fi networks now more than ever. Broadband service providers need to invest more in home Wi-Fi solutions, like Wi-Fi mesh network systems, or run the risk of customer churn, says ABI Research. The firm forecasts more than 831 million households will have residential Wi-Fi networks in 2021.
“Wi-Fi mesh network systems are one solution and a newer concept for homes, though enterprises commonly utilize them,” says Khin Sandi Lynn, Industry Analyst at ABI Research. “They improve coverage by relying on multiple access points in the home. This technology is beneficial in larger households that suffer from pockets of inadequate coverage, as their broadband routers are strong enough to provide premium coverage to the entire home and all of its connected devices.”
But currently, the associated cost of these Wi-Fi mesh network systems could price some residential broadband users out of this market. A Wi-Fi mesh system with three access points could cost anywhere between $300 and $500. U.S. cable operator Midco, for instance, provides AirTies’ mesh network system to their residential broadband customers with up to four access points starting at $7.95 per month. Additional access points can be purchased for an extra two dollars each per month.
And though pure Wi-Fi mesh systems provide easier installation and management for consumers, a mixed wired backbone with multiple access points can provide more stable network. Pure Wi-Fi mesh systems and hybrid (wired backbone with multiple access points) networks are likely to coexist in the markets where in-home wired backbone is widely available.
A mesh network system, however, is not the only solution that can help service providers improve residential Wi-Fi experience. Residential Wi-Fi network management systems, such as ServAssure by ARRIS and the new, cloud-based, in-home Wi-Fi performance monitoring system Remote View by AirTies allow service providers to perform access point installation, network analysis, and troubleshooting remotely. This cuts costs for consumers by trimming the need for technician visits to their homes.
These findings are from ABI Research’s Service Provider Wi-Fi and Service Integration. This report is part of the company’s Smart Home and Video, OTT, AR & VR sectors, which include research, data, and analyst insights.
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