Wi-Fi Alliance expands home certification program to multifamily complexes

Wi-Fi Home Design provides home builders with guidelines on how to deploy Wi-Fi networks, which now extends to multifamily residential complexes like apartments, condominiums and townhomes. (Pixabay)

Just as the number of connected devices in homes is growing sky-high, the Wi-Fi Alliance (WFA) announced that it has expanded its Wi-Fi Certified Home Design program to include multifamily residential complexes like apartments, condominiums and townhomes.

The alliance's Wi-Fi Certified Home Design program already provides home builders with professional network designs and recommendations to inform deployments when new single-family homes are constructed, but now it's adding the multifamily residential guidelines. 

It can be a little tricky in a single-family home to optimize the placement of Wi-Fi, but it’s an order of magnitude more difficult to deliver a great experience in a more dense area like a multifamily home environment, said Kevin Robinson, vice president of marketing at WFA.

“Now, it’s not just the design of your home network that’s important, but it’s the interplay between the various networks from your neighbors as well,” he told FierceWirelessTech. With the new extensions to the home certification program, Wi-Fi will be optimized to minimize interference from nearby multifamily dwellings—whether they be above or below a unit or next door.

The proliferation of connected devices in the home is continuing unabated, with some pretty substantial forecasts, including one that says the average family home will contain 50 connected devices by the end of 2020. That sounds high, but whether it ultimately hits 50 or even 30 or 40, “that’s a pretty substantial increase and really speaks to the need for these deployments to be able to support that type of traffic load,” Robinson said.

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The original version of Wi-Fi Home Design is standard in the designs of Lennar, one of the nation’s largest home builders. The company already has added Wi-Fi Home Design to 62 new multifamily communities. That number is expected to grow as well.

“We live in a wireless world, but ironically it’s often limited in the place people need it most—their own homes,” said Lennar’s David Kaiserman in a statement. “Engineering a home with no dead spots is a natural for Lennar. The Wi-Fi Certified badge is the gold standard for connectivity, which is now being brought to the home. Just like with most leading technology products, it lets consumers know exactly what they’re getting and sets the bar high for what’s possible today and in the future.”

With home builders and home buyers viewing Wi-Fi as essential in new homes, it sets a promising picture for Wi-Fi as a technology, Robinson noted.