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Wi-Fi Alliance, CableLabs Release Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Data Elements Code

June 28, 2019 By Finley Engineering in

The Wi-Fi Alliance and CableLabs have released code for Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Data Elements, an initiative aimed at developing key performance indicators (KPIs) for Wi-Fi networks.

The initiative, which began last year, is aimed at optimizing and increasing reliability of residential and business Wi-Fi deployments. The groups say that improvements will be critical to deploying the cable industry’s 10G initiative.

Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Data Elements

Some of the proactive network maintenance (PNM) issues that are addressed in Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Data Elements are:

  • Lack of visibility into customers’ Wi-Fi networks: Often, MSOs must rely on their customers to report Wi-Fi problems after they’ve occurred, leading to customer dissatisfaction and retention issues.
  • Exorbitant cost associated with Wi-Fi troubleshooting: The cable industry wastes more than a billion dollars per year troubleshooting residential Wi-Fi, and two thirds of customer complaints are related to Wi-Fi.
  • Lack —or overabundance—of data: There’s currently no global standard for the collection of key actionable data on Wi-Fi network performance in residences, small and midsize businesses, and operator-managed enterprise systems. Data Elements offers a data model focused on what is important for troubleshooting.
  • Lack of good options: Although proprietary Wi-Fi PNM solutions exist, they require deployment of costly proprietary technology on customers’ equipment and are too restrictive in terms of analytic capabilities.

The organizations say that the open source code is free to be used by cable Internet providers in CPE equipment and potentially certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance. The approach supports scheduled and asynchronous data transmissions that provide visibility into Wi-Fi performance without impacting the connection.

Once in use, cloud servers can collect and analyze data. The nature of the code enables the rapid collection of a few key performance indicators (KPIs) that are responsible for a majority of Wi-Fi problems. The system often will enable problems to be addressed before they even are noticed by subscribers, the organizations said.