The Swiss TV, broadband and mobile provider Sunrise has introduced a Smart Wi-Fi offering that is said to double wireless speeds throughout the home. Using cloud-controlled mesh technology from Plume, the Liberty Global company is retailing the devices and managed service at CHF 5.–/month for 1-2 Connect Pods (which are plugged into the wall), with additional Connect Pods for CHF 5.–/month each. That’s an approx. EUR 5 new revenue stream, in an example of how service providers can enhance their role in customer homes with ‘connectivity+’ services.
The Plume-based technology is being marketed as a premium solution that is ideal for large multi-person households and their collection of devices competing for concurrent Wi-Fi bandwidth. The Wi-Fi reception reaches rooms and corners that are difficult to cover with a Wi-Fi modem, Sunrise points out. The Connect Pods work with any access network – so Sunrise DSL, cable and fibre customers are all covered. The system comes with a free ‘Sunrise Smart WiFi’ app for iOS or Android.
The Smart Wi-Fi offering is highly intelligent, helped by AI. The Connect Pods automatically build a cloud-controlled adaptive network. This system analyses signal strength throughout the home to dynamically determine which pod a device should connect to – ensuring the best connection speeds. Devices are also automatically switched to Wi-Fi channels with more available capacity, with adaptive band steering ensuring movement between frequencies is seamless.
An ‘Airtime Fairness’ principle distributes the signal evenly among connected devices and at the same time prevents older-generation devices from negatively influencing the signal. The overall impact is to avoid interference, boost speed and boost stability of the Wi-Fi.
Sunrise quotes a representative survey showing that one-in-five Swiss Internet users are not satisfied with their Wi-Fi coverage at home (across all providers). This is the market they can address with Sunrise Smart WiFi.