Belgacom tackles wifi shortcomings

Content and service providers are routinely using broadband pipes to deliver digital voice, video and data services to the home. But despite their increasing popularity, home wifi networks are on the verge of meltdown, struggling to keep pace with ever increasing amounts of multimedia content.

Less than two weeks ago, predicted that consumers would soon be forced to adopt new technologies in order to overcome the shortfalls of wifi. Smart antennae and powerline networking were acknowledged by analysts as a likely hybrid of technologies that could solve the problem.

On Wednesday, Belgian operator Belgacom emerged as one of the first European players to adopt this hybrid platform, rolling out both powerline communications and “smart wifi” as part of its home entertainment and communications services.

Belgacom is offering powerline communications (PLC) technology fro Spanish vendor DS2 to deliver room to room audio visual (AV) streaming in its IPTV package. home entertainment and communications package. Belgacom uses the existing electrical wiring around the home to connect an ADSL modem and send IPTV signals to a TV set top box and throughout the entire home.

Complementing this platform, Belgacom will also supply in-home “smart wifi” based on Ruckus Wireless’ MediaFlex NG offering, which increases the reliability of wifi signals and extends their range. Smart wifi offers a sustainable throughput of enough capacity to stream IPTV around the home.

Both technologies are geared towards a user friendly installation, in reaction to the growing trend of self installed networks. Belgacom claims that around 60 per cent of its triple play customers choose self installation.

Robin Belliere, product manager of residential terminals at Belgacom, said: “Consumers simply don’t want to wait for installers to enable their television service or rewire their homes, and why should they? Instead of having to arrange, pay and wait for a technician, consumers can now simply purchase the Ruckus MediaFlex system when they want to enable TV and install the system anywhere in a matter of minutes”.

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