Excentis, a provider of testing services for access network technology, has launched a new service for testing Wi-Fi access points. The unique testing approach in a real-world environment – a first in Europe – provides both operators and manufacturers with representative parameters for assessing the performance of Wi-Fi access points.
Wi-Fi technology is complex, especially with the advent of 802.11n and 802.11ac systems including MIMO (Multiple Input, Multiple Output) technology. It is not easy, therefore, to make representative, reproducible tests. Nor is it simple to objectively compare different Wi-Fi technologies (e.g. the number of antennas used in the MIMO system) in a realistic home environment. “And yet it is crucial for network operators to be able to select the best platforms and technology. After all, Wi-Fi is becoming an increasingly important element of their product and service offering,” says Excentis’ CEO Luc Martens – a professor at Ghent University specialising in wireless systems’ propagation modelling and simulations.
“We want to help operators choose the optimal system. Therefore we have set up a testbed in a real home – a realistic, static, residential environment with controllable interference. The setting enables to statistically compare Wi-Fi access points, as the performance is measured from different physical locations in the home and with different operating parameters”, says Wim De Ketelaere, CTO of Excentis.
Tests assess the performance on the currently popular Windows and OSX-based laptops and the iOS and Android-based smartphones and tablets, in many different situations. This allows to properly compare access points and configurations.
The automated test set-ups ensure a cost-effective service. Moreover, Excentis’ experienced staff can back up the results with expert guidance on how to deploy the wireless access point.
Network operators as well as manufacturers of Wi-Fi access points can rely on Excentis to test their equipment before either purchasing or launching it. The test service will help them select the best Wi-Fi access point for their needs, which can be a competitive differentiator in their product/service offering.