AirTies is headed to CES 2019 to tout a strategic collaboration with Broadcom designed to make it easier for operators that adopt Broadcom’s Wi-Fi 6 chipsets to get access to AirTies’ software and in-home Wi-Fi management.
Last month, AirTies announced that its Smart Wi-Fi software will be pre-integrated into Broadcom’s Wi-Fi 6 drivers for use in third-party gateways. Broadcom’s Wi-Fi 6 chipsets also will be integrated with access to AirTies’ Remote Manager, a cloud-based optimization suite for real-time visibility and historical performance analysis to manage the consumer Wi-Fi experience.
AirTies' Smart Wi-Fi software is set up so that operators can monitor the performance of in-home Wi-Fi and proactively fix and monitor issues, thereby improving overall customer satisfaction. The software directs consumers' devices to the best available channel and band—which is important, given that the average data rates at 5 GHz are about five times faster than at 2.4 GHz.
AirTies’ technologies have been deployed by more than 50 service providers around the world. In the U.S., the company counts AT&T among its customers—and it’s seeing increased interest on the part of operators to make sure Wi-Fi is working as well as it should for consumers in their homes.
“We’ve seen a clear shift in their overall ownership of in-home Wi-Fi,” AirTies Chief Marketing Officer Oz Yildirim told FierceWirelessTech. Five or six years ago, operators primarily saw their jobs as delivering broadband, and Wi-Fi was not their responsibility, but “we see that changing really fast over the last two to three years," in part because consumers don’t differentiate Wi-Fi from other connective technologies. “Now it’s a very critical part of the service provider’s offering.”
Wi-Fi 6 is not fully baked in the sense that the standard is still being finalized and a certification program is coming in 2019. But plenty of companies are already talking about their Wi-Fi 6 products, which are based on 802.11ax.
Some operators already have HotSpot 2.0 support, but if not, AirTies' software can provide it, according to Yildirim.
He also said AirTies’ software is chipset-agnostic; it has worked with various chipset providers since 2004. “We typically monitor the chipset solutions closely and pick the best solution for that given Wi-Fi technology,” he said. So far, Broadcom has been out in front in terms of getting Wi-Fi 6 ready for market, and that’s why AirTies is working with the company, according to Yildirim.
“We see Wi-Fi will be a great complementary solution for 5G services,” he said, noting AT&T’s early launch of a 5G offering based on 3GPP standards. 5G will be a great way to get broadband into the home, but once inside the home, the connections will be done over Wi-Fi, Yildirim noted.