Overloaded Wi-Fi: a Technology Brings Itself into Distress

What would the world be like without Wi-Fi today? It’s difficult to imagine. For many years, wireless Internet has shaped our mobile lifestyle and work flexibility, catapulting us into a new dimension of digital communication and freedom.

Nevertheless, the downside of this development is all too familiar: countless unsuccessful connection attempts, long loading times and waving devices in the air hoping to somehow “get a signal”…

What was in the early days of Wi-Fi often due to the lack of technology, low data transfer rates and unfavourable device design, is nowadays often due to overloaded radio channels that provoke similar problems.

It’s getting crowded

The most popular range for Wi-Fi transfer is the 2.4 GHz frequency band, which stands out with its good operating distance and resistance to interference. For today’s current broadband data transfer it can, however, provide only three channels, wherein the frequency range does not overlap. Therefore, most of the modems are automatically set on one of these channels and communicate with various Wi-Fi compatible devices, among them not only laptops and tablets but also beamers, remote controls and baby phones. As a result, the channels are becoming more and more overloaded and the data transfer stagnates.

A more balanced use of Wi-Fi channels

Wi-Fi repeaters as well as additional routers or external antennas are recommended to restore the accustomed user comfort. However, these do not solve the underlying problem of overloaded Wi-Fi channels. Furthermore, the 5GHz frequency band, which is supported by newer devices and provides 19 non-overlapping channels, is not a much better alternative due to a low range and high disruption risk. A promising solution represents indeed a better distribution of data transfer on the existing 2.4 GHz radio channels.

In general, changing radio channels can be performed on the modem, but the user has no possibility to identify which of the channels is a less frequented and better alternative. Furthermore, the capacity can change at any moment on account of a new device being run in the network or due to a change of location. Therefore, an enduring resolution method for these recurring situations can only be to provide the user with a simple possibility to check the current workload of each channel and reset the modem accordingly.

Swisscom
 Crowded networks- an analysis done in the Wi-Fi optimisation desktop of m2suite. (Reference- My Swisscom Assistant)

 Easily find the best Wi-Fi channel

Professional support in this matter – most of all for Telcos wanting to ensure their products’ Wi-Fi performance and their customers’ satisfaction – is provided by the Wi-Fi Optimizer tools of mquadr.at. From the user’s desktop or smart phone, they analyse the current Wi-Fi surroundings, calculate the optimal channel based on the most important parameters for a powerful Wi-Fi connection and finally set the new channel automatically on the modems. This way, the user is able to independently find the best Wi-Fi channel for fast and stable wireless Internet surfing with just a few clicks.

More than optimisation – User Education increases the positive impact!

With tools to improve Wi-Fi, telcos have a great communication channel to reach and support their customers – and frankly speaking – to really educate them about the drawbacks of Wi-Fi as well. You will quickly notice, customers who use optimisation tools and learn about how Wi-Fi works will not only benefit from better channel usage but also understand how wireless networks actually perform – and they will call and complain less.

Win – Win. That’s a result worth striving for.

Tanja Klärner, Commercial Director

mquadr.at software engineering und consulting GmbH

mquadr.at (m2, m²) – operating out of Vienna – is the leading European software provider for “digital self-care” & “customer experience” solutions for the telecommunications industry. Its main areas of expertise cover the automation of customer support processes (service automation), the improvement of customer experience via self-service solutions, and consulting in the introduction of e-care measures. Swisscom, KPN, Deutsche Telekom and A1 Telekom Austria are among mquadr.at’s customers. Further information is provided on the mquadr.at website. www.mquadr.at

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