Managed Wi-Fi: Why it’s never been more important
Originally Appearing in, October 28, 2020, LightReading.com
A July 2020 study from Statistica reports that 58% of Americans are working from home at least one day a week, with 44% working from home every day. Before the pandemic, only 17% were working from home five days a week.
Apart from the normal challenges and distractions associated with working from home – finding a quiet location, juggling schedules and avoiding binge-watching – one in seven Americans (15%) are also dealing with daily Internet connectivity issues and more than a half (53%) are experiencing issues at least once a month, according to anApril 2020 report from Waveform.
The challenge with consumer-grade solutions
For some people, one possible solution is to buy more (or better) technology. After heading to their local electronics store or visiting their favorite online retailer, these consumers are greeted by a wide array of Wi-Fi routers, extenders, boosters, repeaters and mesh systems – all promising to deliver better coverage and throughput. But do these products always deliver on that guarantee? Not necessarily.
In reality, adding more technology makes things more complicated, not better. Then, when the Internet service provider (ISP) is called for help, customers find there’s none available because their newly purchased technology often lacks the necessary remote troubleshooting capabilities.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
Managed Wi-Fi provides a better customer experience
At the end of the day, consumers want two things when they are working from home: a stable connection and adequate coverage for every connected device in their home. Truth be told, most people would prefer to get both things from a single company.
A good managed Wi-Fi solution, available from an ISP, offers four things to consumers:
- Simplicity: A reliable Wi-Fi system, validated and provided by the ISP, removes the stress for consumers of having to evaluate a complex array of products and make their own purchase.
- Security: Automatic firmware updates and integrated gateway-based security (that offers protection for all connected devices) provides peace of mind for consumers.
- Affordability: Modest monthly payments, instead of the steep upfront costs associated with purchasing a Wi-Fi system, are much appreciated.
- Support: Product warranties and 24/7 omni-channel technical support (e.g., phone, online chat or mobile app) are valuable should any technical issues arise.
The impact of Wi-Fi 6 on managed Wi-Fi
The Wi-Fi 6 standard (aka 802.11ax) includes more than 50 new enhancements, most of them designed to improve data rates, capacity, coverage and power efficiency.
Consumer-grade Wi-Fi routers and gateways, some costing hundreds of dollars, are available to support the growing number of compatible consumer devices (e.g., Samsung Galaxy S10, iPhone 11/12, iPad pro and most new laptops). Offering a Wi-Fi 6-powered system can be a huge differentiator for ISPs, especially if it is part of a managed Wi-Fi offer that provides consumers with an alternative that is more affordable – and comes with premium technical support and a comprehensive warranty.
Greg Owens, Product Marketing Director, Calix