all devices have the correct bandwidth at all
SoftAtHome: As we have seen in the past
several months, CPE powered by Connect’ON,
SoftAtHome software solution for Home
Gateway, are largely able to cope with the
increased traffic and the growing number of
devices connected at home. What is important
to note, is that the increase in traffic did not
affect the CPE performance, which shows that
CPE powered by Connect’ON are ‘field-proven’
for the time of pandemic and post-Covid-19
rise in home working. However, some of our
Operators’ customers have requested WiFi
repeaters powered with Wifi’ON, to cope
with black spots of coverage and increase the
WiFi performance at home. This, in turn, may
accelerate the move to WiFi6, which enables
an increase to the talking time.
Since the pandemic has started, we see
an increasing need for security of the devices
connected to the home WiFi. This is exactly
why we’ve developed Secure’ON; to protect
all devices in the home by using the Home
Gateway as the security guard of the LAN.
The addition of SOHO features into
residential CPEs is becoming a must as an
increasing number of workers need to work
from home. For example, Orange decided
with its latest Livebox 5, to add additional
professional services, such as VPN, multiple
line telephony features, advanced IP
configurations, etc. This proves, that CPE are
evolving and ready to cope with the increased
traffic and professional features at home.
Technicolor: The Covid-19 pandemic has
emphasised the criticality of connectivity and
the need for powerful broadband connections
and high-quality WiFi services at home,
changing the relationship between network
service providers (NSPs) and their customers.
As a consequence, NSPs need to re-think how
they engage with consumers and how to adapt
to new behaviours very quickly.
This requires a shift away from proprietary
CPE technology with limited functionality,
toward the adoption of open platforms at both
the gateway and set-top box (STB) levels.
We see clearly that these open middleware
solutions are growing in popularity as more
operators realise the benefits of having a
more flexible environment that supports new
revenue generating services:
• Open CPE environments make it easier
for NSPs to work constructively with a
wider ecosystem of technology partners,
preventing vendor lock-ins.
• It also accelerates time-to-market for
deploying new services. We have seen
development time frames for important
new features and offerings decreased from
one year to three months because of the
efficiency and ease that open environments
– like Android TV, OpenWRT and RDK-B –
bring to NSPs and their vendors.
• Finally, it facilitates the installation,
usage and interoperability of different
offerings, ensuring a better and managed
quality of service while optimising
personalisation as the increase in data is
more easily aggregated.
So, what are the implications for devices
that NSPs deploy into people’s homes?
CPE become: a) more powerful (supporting
more services simultaneously); b) more
intelligent (to ensure quality of service as the
number of devices in the home increases);
and c) more secure (as consumers and their
devices transmit an increasing array of
sensitive information through their in-home
wireless and access networks).
CPE could be considered as the home
neurologic system. As a result, CPEs will
no longer be proprietary devices that are
dedicated to a narrow scope of functionality.
They are evolving into high-capability
devices that integrate a growing array of
services – including premium WiFi services,
security, cyber-security, as well as gaming
and Internet-of-Things applications. This will
give rise to a new generation of intelligent,
high-performance CPE that will leverage open
technologies to deliver services tailored to the
specific needs of subscribers in a variety of
different demographic and regional markets.
ZTE: Under Covid-19, working from home
has become the new norm worldwide, leaving
huge impact on people’s social, every day
and working styles. As for CPE, we will
see more demand of high-speed products
including CAT12, CAT20 and 5G CPE, while
the demands for connection capability will
also increase, e.g. WiFi 5 upgraded to WiFi 6
allowing more and faster connections per CPE.
Facing these trends, ZTE will soon launch a
CAT20 CPE MF289F, along with a series of
5G devices including Indoor CPE MC801A
& Outdoor CPE MC7010, both could work
flexibly with a WiFi 6 mesh router MF269 for
faster speed and better indoor coverage.
Has the lockdown led to/will home
working see, a shift in the devices used
most? Any interesting usage patterns?
AirTies: Based on real-world data analysis
from AirTies, not only were more devices
used in home, but they were used for longer
periods and simultaneously. The increase in
the intensity of WiFi demands is remarkable,
but the most significant finding relates to
Graphic courtesy AirTies
the homeowners’ measurable WiFi quality of
experience (QoE), and a phenomenon AirTies’
describes as the catalyst effect.
Data shows that WiFi performance
does not worsen in a linear fashion when
compared to an increase in usage, but rather
that it deteriorates in an exponential way.
As the figure above shows, users’ experience
deteriorated by 160%, with peaks reaching
200% (red lines), relative to the increase in
WiFi activity (green line). This catalyst effect
remains prevalent in the post-lock down
period as well, and if not addressed, can lead
to increased customer care calls and lower
Broadband Forum: Not necessarily, there
might need to be additional CPE devices
to meet the connectivity demands and new
CPE devices that offer back-up connectivity
such as 4G/5G back up. Still, the basic
connectivity functionality remains the same.
QoE and prioritisation of services behind
the Broadband CPE are increasing, but not
exponentially because of Covid-19. Many of the
changes, including device management, WiFi
management and QoE, will be network-based
as well as CPE hardware.
CommScope: The main device for most
people working from home is a companyissued
laptop, complete with VPN and camera
for video conferencing. We see a rise in
the concurrent use of multiple devices like
laptops (for working) and desktops for video
conferencing. Video conference traffic has been
the high runner service with a requirement
for quality audio and video. Consumers have
also upgraded their WiFi solutions. That
means there’s an increase of access points and
WiFi extenders deployments in the home to
Netgem: Clearly, streaming has boomed over
the last six months, and we have seen a surge