Qualcomm announced new Wi-Fi mesh networking features designed to help operators enhance in-home video delivery and performance.
The company today debuted its video-over-mesh technology, which uses a Wi-Fi mesh architecture to deliver better coverage throughout the home, alongside multi-user MIMO to alleviate congestion which can occur when multiple devices try to stream video simultaneously.
A mesh network relies on a hub and spoke setup where one main router is connected to a broadband line and a number of secondary routers are placed throughout the home to carry the signal further.
Additionally, multi-user MIMO gives several users access to bandwidth simultaneously rather than making bandwidth available to users sequentially, as in traditional Time-Division Duplex systems.
Solving pain points
Rahul Patel, Qualcomm Technologies GM of connectivity, told Mobile World Live the Video-over-Mesh system solves two of the major user pain points which have arisen in a world where cord cutting is on the rise.
Most consumers, he said, are less concerned about the difference between a 150Mbps or 500Mbps connection and more interested in the actual performance and availability of the signal throughout their home.
Until now, operators have been focused on delivering a bigger pipe for data, but have failed to sufficiently address the delivery experience, he added.
“Them provisioning a fatter pipe is not helping their cause of what’s happening, which is cord cutting,” Patel explained: “What will help them is provisioning the infrastructure in the home so that the IP video that is a service of HBO or ESPN or Amazon Prime or Netflix is flawlessly available at any location in the home. That is the problem that this particular capability that we are launching solves for the operators.”
Qualcomm said its Video-over-Mesh system is built to carrier grade specifications to enable commercial operator deployments. The technology delivers network speeds from 50Mb/s to 1Gb/s at a latency of less than 40-milliseconds.
Additionally, Qualcomm is teaming with Wi-Fi company Plume to develop two hardware reference designs, and enable cloud management capabilities for operators.
While the technology is geared toward traditional cable players, including Comcast and Charter, and mixed business operators including AT&T, Patel said the technology is also compelling proposition for a 5G world where wireless operators will be able to deliver gigabit speeds to the home as well.
Patel said he expects at least one major North American operator to begin deploying the Video-over-Mesh technology by the end of this year. Others are expected to follow quickly, he said