The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) today announced the publication of a technical report outlining a new operator-managed Wi-Fi (OMWi) reference architecture. The proposed framework will combine multiple available standards to streamline Wi-Fi data collection, Wi-Fi management, configuration, and optimization of home networks, simplifying the analysis and decision-making process for carriers. The paper, Operator Managed Wi-Fi: Reference Architecture and Requirements, is available as a free public download here.
Consumers expect reliable, high-performance Wi-Fi networks that enable their Wi-Fi devices to work at home with little to no set-up required. The paper discusses the various deployment challenges this presents for operators, who need to balance the cost of management and deployment with growing consumer requirements.
Currently, there exist several different operator-managed Wi-Fi solutions in the market, each utilizing different proprietary or standard methods for data collection, communication between the Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) and the cloud, remote management, mesh formation, etc. Furthermore, each operator-managed Wi-Fi solution tries to solve the same problems in a different way, which yields non-interoperable and non-reusable solutions.
This results in considerable resources operators currently need to employ in order to navigate through the different techniques and standards available when delivering on end-user expectations. It also highlights the difficulties many operators still face when negotiating with vendors to ensure compliance with their own standards and requirements. The main problem put forth by the paper is that a holistic solution for an operator-managed Wi-Fi network, which incorporates the necessary standards into a reference architecture for the operators to use in their deployments, still does not exist.
WBA members led by Airties, British Telecom (BT), Deutsche Telekom and MaxLinear are seeking to simplify this analysis and selection process, leading to better resource optimization, while also allowing them to make more accurate claims when communicating their value proposition with end clients and users.
For more information, visit the Wireless Broadband Alliance at https://wballiance.com/.