World Cinema adds Nextivity’s award-winning Cel-Fi in-building cellular coverage products to its line-up of wireless connectivity solutions for B2B and B2C customer deployments
HOUSTON and SAN DIEGO, CA – April 14, 2021 – Nextivity and World Cinema (WCI) today announced the companies are partnering to deliver enterprise-grade in-building cellular connectivity to communities and destination properties throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. WCI now offers Nextivity’s award-winning Cel-Fi products through ImpruviX®, its suite of complete and custom wireless connectivity solutions for hotels, student housing, senior living communities, luxury multi-dwelling units (MDUs), master-planned communities, and health care facilities.
For over 45 years, WCI has been the top performer of buying power in the property management and hospitality industries. To date, the company serves over 4,200 hotels and 120 student properties. In October 2020, WCI launched ImpruviX to deliver and support enterprise-grade wireless connectivity for both B2B and B2C customers. ImpruviX solutions by WCI are designed for lowest total cost of ownership and are sensitive to capital value. Nextivity’s Cel-Fi products that optimize cellular coverage in enterprise, small business, residential, and mobile settings, enable WCI to deliver customized solutions that align with customers’ in-building cellular connectivity needs and budget constraints.
“We believe that reliable connectivity will continue to be vital in optimizing the value of any property where guests visit or residents live. In-building cellular coverage, in particular, will increasingly play an important role in acquiring and retaining high occupancy rates in all communities and destination properties,” says Robert Grosz, EVP and Chief Commercial Officer at WCI. “Our partnership with Nextivity ensures that ImpruviX solutions feature the most advanced technology for cellular coverage and enables us to deliver future-proof solutions that cost-effectively meet our customers’ evolving wireless connectivity needs.”
Nextivity’s award-winning Cel-Fi products solve the problem of dropped calls, poor voice quality, and low data throughput caused by a weak cellular signal. Cel-Fi products are self-configuring, carrier-approved, and unconditionally network safe; leveraging the IntelliBoost chipset to deliver the industry’s highest gain at the lowest cost per square foot. Cel-Fi is authorized for use by 200 carriers around the world.
“The world is changing and cellular app-based solutions have begun to dominate in new ways, whether talking touchless e-pay solutions or new security-based applications. Valued partners like World Cinema share our commitment to delivering an exceptional digital experience with the best technology,” says Werner Sievers, CEO of Nextivity. “This partnership will extend the reach of Cel-Fi products and create new opportunities for us to work together to solve the cellular coverage challenges faced by many industries – including hospitality, health care, and commercial real estate. The Cel-Fi QUATRA line offers the flexibility and connectivity these industries are looking for within their current budget parameters.
About World Cinema
Headquartered in Houston, World Cinema is a market leader innovating and delivering technology and services to guest-centric properties. The company was the first technology service provider to hotels nationwide, beginning in 1974. Today, World Cinema is building on that legacy as a stable and trusted provider of video, data and connectivity services to some of the largest owners and managers of hotel and multifamily brands in the world. The company serves 4,200 properties nationwide with nearly 600,000 rooms under management and over 300 million guest encounters per year.
Headquartered in San Diego, Nextivity Inc. develops the award-winning, Cel-Fi family of products that deliver best-in-class connectivity for enterprise, business, residential spaces, and mobile cellular and public safety communication needs. Cel-Fi is the go-to solution for healthcare, government, hotels, retail, education, remote sites, parking garages, manufacturing, warehouses, as well as trucking and marine fleets. Cel-Fi products are available in 100 countries through mobile operators and a growing worldwide network of master distributors, systems integrators, installers, and resellers. Additional information is available at cel-fi.com, on Twitter, LinkedIn, and on Facebook.
Nextivity, the Nextivity logo, Cel-Fi, Smart Signal Booster, and Supercell are registered trademarks of Nextivity Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
Kari Wise – Boulevard Public Relations for Nextivity
LitePoint IQxel-MW Validates the Performance of Morse Micro System-on-Chip Family
SAN JOSE, California
— —LitePoint, a leading provider of wireless test solutions, today announced that Morse Micro, developer of the smallest Wi-Fi HaLow single-chip solution, has standardized on the LitePoint IQxel-MW for design verification of its Wi-Fi HaLow system-on-chip family.
Customers and manufacturing partners integrating Morse Micro’s Wi-Fi HaLow SoC based on IEEE 802.11ah into their IoT design will be able to use the IQxel-MW to test the wireless functionality of their product, helping bring the design to market.
“The number of connected Internet of Things devices is growing rapidly and the low power and long-range capabilities of Wi-Fi HaLow will open many more possibilities for IoT applications,” said Vahid Manian, Chief Operating Officer of Morse Micro. “Original equipment manufacturers and original design manufacturers can now develop Wi-Fi HaLow IoT products with confidence using the IQxel-MW platform for design validation and manufacturing testing.”
Wi-Fi HaLow is well suited for a variety of IoT applications like video cameras, industrial automation, occupancy sensors, motion detectors and more, offering a longer signal range of approximately 1-kilometer, lower power connectivity and the ability to penetrate obstacles.
“Morse Micro provides one of the leading chipsets in the Wi-Fi HaLow market. We’re pleased to be collaborating with them in this space” said Adam Smith, Director of Product Marketing at LitePoint. “LitePoint’s IQxel-MW platform is the ideal solution for thorough verification of 802.11ah OFDM RF PHY operation in the unlicensed Sub-1 GHz frequency bands. It allows Morse Micro’s customers to accelerate their Wi-Fi HaLow design and ensure optimal performance of their IoT products.”
LitePoint’s IQxel-MW platform is a leading test solution for Wi-Fi connectivity, meeting the needs of product development and high-volume manufacturing. The IQxel-MW includes support for 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax and 802.11ah as well as wide range of connectivity and IoT technologies with a frequency range from 400 to 6000 MHz and upgradable to support up to 7300 MHz for future Wi-Fi 6E bands.
For more information, visit LitePoint’s IQxel-MW test solution.
Nowadays, smart home tech is reigning in every household. Can you imagine a place without a single smart-device today? The increasing number of connected IoT and smart devices undoubtedly raises a problem: with all devices connected to a single 2.4 GHz band, how can we ensure a smooth online experience while streaming, gaming, and video-calling all under the same roof?
The wireless industry’s answer was the introduction the new, 5 GHz band in dual-band routers. Dual-band routers benefit client devices by allowing them to connect to either the 2.4 GHz band with a wider range, or the 5 GHz band for faster throughput and higher performance, alleviating congestion on a single band.
In the early days, the practice was to manually connect devices to either the 2.4 or 5 GHz band based on the requirements of the device, which can be very frustrating to optimize and do on a regular basis. Qualcomm noticed this problem and introduced a solution that would automate this process for the user – Band Steering.
Band steering technology encourages dual-band client devices, such as most modern smartphones, tablets, laptops, and PCs, to generally use the less-congested band.
Why not connect to the 5 GHz band in the first place?
Some of you may wonder why can’t those client devices just connect to the 5 GHz band from the start? To answer this, let’s examine how the “normal wireless operation” works and how the “band steering operation” works.
As the illustration demonstrates, both the client devices and the routers are exchanging probes. In a normal wireless operation without band steering, the client device sees wireless probes from both bands (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) and chooses to connect to the strongest one. However, which band is identified as stronger one by the client device depends on another piece of the puzzle.
The 2.4 GHz frequency was adopted for mass wireless use much earlier than the 5 GHz band. To put it simply, the 2.4GHz band is geared more towards wireless signal coverage due to its longer wavelength, while the 5GHz band benefits from faster speeds with its much shorter wavelength. As a result, the 2.4 GHz band can cover larger distances, and most client devices connect to it regardless of how fast or congested it is. What’s more is that once this connection is made, the client device will stay on the same band even if it’s within range of the 5 GHz band and requires a faster network.
So, where does this band steering mechanism come into play? Band steering allows the access point to disable the 2.4 GHz band from probing the client device, so it responds only to the 5 GHz band, reducing the congestion on the 2.4 GHz band while taking advantage of the faster 5GHz band to improve user’s network experience. This way, band steering ensures that end-user devices get faster speeds and less network interference whenever it is possible.
Is Enabling Band Steering worth it?
So far, it sounds like having band steering has no downsides – but then how come we’re asking whether it’s worth enabling? Let us explain.
As the steering mechanism demonstrates, both the access points and client devices can send probes. However, band steering is operated by the access point, and it cannot control how the client device interprets or sends the probes, leaving many client devices unable to be steered to the 5 GHz band.
Moreover, client devices previously associated with the 2.4 GHz band might not be steered even with band steering enabling – they first have to be un-associated from the 2.4GHz band manually. As a result, only idle or new client devices may be band-steered.
Lastly, band-steering technology does not consider the unique traffic conditions. For instance, band steering will not consider the users’ habits of gaming, video streaming, or merely browsing web pages. Therefore, they cannot provide solutions tailored to the need for speed on the client devices.
Ultimately, band steering is a convenient way to prioritize which band the client devices use, and at the end of the day, the control to toggle it On or Off is yours.
Curious about the new and upcoming 6 GHz band? Learn more here
For more information about Mercku’s Connectivity Suite, our hardware and how you can partner with Mercku, please reach out to the team at [email protected]
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Austin, Texas and Washington, D.C. – March 30, 2021 – Wi-Fi Alliance® commends Saudi Arabia’s Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) on the decisionto expand Wi-Fi® operations to the5.925-7.125 GHz frequency band. With this momentous decision, CITC empowers tremend
ous connectivity benefits of the latest Wi-Fi 6E technology in Saudi Arabia and affirms its leadership in enabling the next generation of wireless services. Wi-Fi Alliance members are ready to follow through on the CITC’s decision by delivering a wave of new Wi-Fi 6E products and services to Saudi Arabia’s consumers, enterprises, and economy.
About Wi-Fi Alliance® | www.wi-fi.org Wi-Fi Alliance® is the worldwide network of companies that brings you Wi-Fi®. Members of our collaboration forum come together from across the Wi-Fi ecosystem with the shared vision to connect everyone and everything, everywhere, while providing the best possible user experience. Since 2000, Wi-Fi Alliance has completed more than 65,000 Wi-Fi certifications. The Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ seal of approval designates products with proven interoperability, backward compatibility, and the highest industry-standard security protections in place. Today, Wi-Fi carries more than half of the internet’s traffic in an ever-expanding variety of applications. Wi-Fi Alliance continues to drive the adoption and evolution of Wi-Fi, which billions of people rely on every day.
Wisconsin service provider exemplifies marketing best practices by deploying EDGE Suites within its premium Apex Managed WIFI service; branding the experience to build subscriber loyalty and enable upsell opportunities—all based on data-driven subscriber insights
SAN JOSE, CA – March 30, 2021 –Calix, Inc. (NYSE: CALX) today announced that Norvado, a broadband service provider (BSP) serving northern Wisconsin, is transforming its 70-year-old business with the complete Calix Revenue EDGE solution to differentiate their brand with premium services for a connected lifestyle. Through a winning combination of segmenting subscribers with Calix Marketing Cloud (CMC), exciting subscribers with services in EDGE Suites, and embracing marketing best practices with EDGE Enablement, Norvado has achieved an incredible 99 percent adoption rate of its branded Apex Managed WIFI service among new subscribers, while increasing margins exponentially. Further, with the robust remote-management capabilities of Calix Support Cloud (CSC), Norvado has virtually eliminated truck rolls to Apex Managed WIFI subscribers, dramatically increasing operational efficiency.
Working with Calix since late 2019, Norvado has implemented the comprehensive Revenue EDGE solution to power its Apex Managed WIFI service. Norvado shifted from a product-focused approach to an innovative, services-based strategy by leveraging:
Calix Marketing Cloud (CMC): The rich customer data generated by CMC helps Norvado understand usage patterns to personalize offers; for instance, suggesting upgrades to subscribers that repeatedly hit their upload and download capacities.
EDGE Suites: Norvado’s wildly popular Apex Managed WIFI service bundles are based on the subscriber-facing services: ExperienceIQ™ (for parental controls) and ProtectIQ™ for advanced security). These pre-integrated services are managed through its branded version of the CommandIQ® mobile app and delivered via the powerful GigaSpire® BLAST systems.
Calix Support Cloud (CSC): Real-time insights have enabled Norvado to deliver a differentiated subscriber experience. Calix Support Cloud, which provides real-time intelligence to prevent issues, improve call times, and reduce escalations, has allowed Norvado to fully eliminate truck rolls for Apex Managed WIFI subscribers.
Calix EDGE Enablement: Easy-to-customize marketing activation resources from Calix have helped Norvado quickly create and launch new campaigns. Results from the initial campaigns exceeded expectations; Norvado was able to get to market in just 30 days—in the first four months, they made more than 700 new sales, with their Apex Managed WIFI service accounting for 66 percent.
“We needed to make the transition from a product company to one that truly offered a differentiated experience—a connected lifestyle—to our subscribers,” said Chad Mix, marketing director for Norvado. “Our subscribers have enthusiastically embraced our first managed service offering, Apex Managed WIFI, and we’re excited to be extending this to include new services, such as managed smart home solutions from Arlo, available within Calix EDGE Suites. Calix has been an ideal partner for us, providing the state-of-the-art technology and continuous innovation that puts our brand, and only our brand, first. This partnership forms the foundation for our service offerings, as well as the insights, resources, tools, and support to help us succeed now and into the future. Together, we’re working to help Wisconsinites discover what’s possible.”
Norvado has placed its branded CommandIQ mobile app at the center of the Apex Managed WIFI experience, giving subscribers an intuitive, powerful, and easy-to-use tool to control their home system, right in the palm of their hand. In its premium packages or as add-ons to its basic plan, Norvado employs the original two EDGE Suites to offer value-added apps for enhanced network security capabilities (through ProtectIQ) and parental controls (through ExperienceIQ). Norvado will soon excite subscribers even more, building on its smart home offerings with the latest addition to EDGE Suites: Arlo wireless connected cameras, floodlights, and video doorbells. Beyond helping subscribers control their home systems, the Apex Managed WIFI app gives Norvado a critical conduit to directly communicate timely information via mobile notifications on new offers, service outages, community news, and corporate updates, building loyalty and increasing satisfaction among subscribers. The success of the app is clear: nearly 80 percent of Apex Managed WIFI subscribers have adopted the app—an astounding level of uptake—while 38 percent already have purchased the value-added apps.
“Norvado is a shining example of a service provider that is successfully taking on the consumer giants and big box stores to win the hearts and minds of subscribers,” said Matt Collins, chief marketing officer at Calix. “In today’s increasingly connected and complex world, subscribers are seeking a simple, streamlined solution. The approach Norvado has taken proves there’s a clear path to success for broadband service providers. Embracing marketing best practices and innovative services creates revenue gains, loyal subscribers, and expanded value for the business. We are proud to be collaborating with Norvado to deliver the experiences that excite their subscribers, and position Norvado for continued growth.”
Calix, Inc. (NYSE: CALX) – Calix cloud and software platforms enable service providers of all types and sizes to innovate and transform. Our customers utilize the real-time data and insights from Calix platforms to simplify their businesses and deliver experiences that excite their subscribers. The resulting growth in subscriber acquisition, loyalty and revenue creates more value for their businesses and communities. This is the Calix mission; to enable communications service providers of all sizes to simplify, excite and grow.
This press release may contain forward-looking statements that are based upon management’s current expectations and are inherently uncertain. Forward-looking statements are based upon information available to us as of the date of this release, and we assume no obligation to revise or update any such forward-looking statement to reflect any event or circumstance after the date of this release, except as required by law. Actual results and the timing of events could differ materially from current expectations based on risks and uncertainties affecting Calix’s business. The reader is cautioned not to rely on the forward-looking statements contained in this press release. Additional information on potential factors that could affect Calix’s results and other risks and uncertainties are detailed in its quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC and available at www.sec.gov.
Aptilo IoT Connectivity Control Service™ (IoT CCS) is part of a global IoT Service, where it adds a flexible layer of policy control and security features. The cloud-native solution from Enea incorporates IoT security from Fortinet to protect IoT devices, data traffic, and enterprise applications. This allows mobile operators to offer managed IoT security with the flexibility to steer selected traffic through virtual private connections or directly to the Internet, while protected by FortiGate Firewalls.
As an additional benefit of the solution, operators no longer need to set up individual virtual private connections for each enterprise customer, a complex task that can take weeks. With the new solution in place, enterprises can easily create their own virtual private connections in a matter of minutes.
“The award-winning Aptilo IoT CCS is a perfect illustration of how we innovate in close partnership with our customers,” says Paul Mikkelsen, Head of the Aptilo Business Unit at Enea.
Aptilo IoT CCS is one of the important components in the newly launched IoT offering Telia Global IoT Connectivity.
Aptilo IoT CCS won four different awards during 2020 (see link below).
Aptilo Networks, an Enea company, is one of the world’s leading providers of Wi-Fi service management solutions and cloud-based IoT connectivity control services. The company has delivered software and services to more than 100 operators that serve tens of thousands of enterprise customers, and hundreds of millions of end-users and devices.
Enea is one of the world’s leading suppliers of innovative software for telecommunication and cybersecurity. Focus areas are cloud-native, 5G-ready products for data management, mobile video traffic optimization, edge virtualization, and traffic intelligence. More than 3 billion people rely on Enea technologies in their daily lives.
Enea is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, and is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm.
On the off chance that you live in a jam-packed spot, you may have seen times when your Wi-Fi unexpectedly drops off out of the blue. The Wi-Fi routers and neighbours’ devices could be using the same radio channels that meddle with your internet connection. It’s ideal to discover and utilize a Wi-Fi channel that offers less interference and a smoother connection to improve the Wi-Fi speeds and connectivity.
Choosing the optimal Wi-Fi channel can improve your Wi-Fi coverage and signal strength, giving you an overall boost in performance.
Most Wi-Fi routers nowadays are utilizing 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency bands, while some of the latest routers now equipped with using the 6 GHz band. Each band is split into channels used by your devices to send and receive information over the network.
Much like cars on a road, information sent across the network via data channels slow down in areas with higher traffic and congestions. The time it takes for a device to send and receive information from the router is increased on the congested channel, and you might be left waiting for your turn to access the web.
Depending on the router you use, you may have some channels that don’t overlap:
The reason why some channels aren’t ideal for you to use might be caused by channel interference.
There are a couple of different types of channel interference:
Co-Channel interference occurs when many wireless devices are accessing the same channel, causing congestion on that channel.
Non-Wi-Fi interference occurs when other devices that work on non-Wi-Fi 802.11 radio frequencies compete for the same frequency band.
Adjacent-channel interference occurs when information sent is on an adjacent or partly overlapping channel. The channel bleeds over on an overlapping channel, which adds interference.
Luckily for the users, there are ways to mitigate network interference with several types of channel switching.
TYPES OF CHANNEL SWITCHING:
Channel switching and channel width selection enable users to optimize their Wi-Fi performance in 3 ways:
Manual Channel Switching:
With manual channel switching, the access point uses the default channel set by the manufacturer. The user is then able to manually change the selected channel based on:
Wireless networks in the neighbourhood and inside their home
Level on interference caused by non-Wi-Fi devices over the radio channels
Today, consumers can find various third-party “wireless network analyzer” apps and software online, giving them an overview of network performance, signal strength, and channel congestion. The user then is able to determine the optimal channel based on this analysis for maximum speed and stability.
Many routers feature auto-channel switching (ACS) feature by default, and with this enabled, the router will automatically select the least congested channel for you each time the system boots up. Since auto-channel switching relies on scanning the air once (when it powers on) the change in the wireless environment in the future could cause channel interference, and prompt sluggish Wi-Fi performance.
Dynamic Channel Switching (DCS):
Dynamic channel switching helps the user avoid highly congested channels and lets routers and access points (AP) automatically switch to the least crowded channel without any manual input from the user.
With DCS, the router continuously scans the air for the best available channel and switches to it automatically.
There are several available methods for dynamic channel switching:
Scheduled DCS mode allows the user to set a desirable time of the day (e.g. every day at 01:00 AM) to scan the environment and perform automatic channel switching to avoid potential network interruptions.
Like regular Automatic Channel Switching, DCS’ Start-up mode works when an AP starts up for the first time and chooses a channel from the available non-congested, non-overlapping channels.
Steady State Mode
All modern DCS-enabled access points have Steady State Mode set by default. With Steady State Mode, the AP scans different channels at a set time interval (e.g every 15 minutes of every day) and chooses the channel with the least interference. The user is typically able to select the desired time interval for performing the network scan and channel switching themselves.
For more information about Mercku’s Connectivity Suite, our hardware and how you can partner with Mercku, please reach out to the team at [email protected]
Thank you for reading our blog! Mercku Blogs covers the latest in wireless technology – subscribe to our newsletter to make sure you don’t miss our newest releases!
WiFi Motion™ enables service providers to create next-gen customer experiences
WATERLOO, Ontario–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Cognitive Systems Corp. announced today an integration with Airties to offer its patented WiFi Motion technology across Airties’ portfolio of WiFi 6 solutions. Cognitive’s WiFi Motion will make it easier than ever for service providers to access this revolutionary sensing technology.
“As a pioneer and leader in Wi-Fi sensing, we are pleased to be working with Cognitive Systems on new Wi-Fi 6 solutions” Tweet this
Over the past six years, Cognitive Systems has designed, developed, and implemented the first and most sophisticated WiFi-enabled motion sensing software on the market. WiFi Motion leverages connected IoT devices to turn the entire home into a motion-sensing network, introducing an innovative way to use WiFi. With 37 ISPs currently offering WiFi Motion around the globe, millions of homes already have access to this new service and its growing number of applications.
“Service providers are looking for new ways to differentiate from competitors and retain customers. Our priority is providing smart WiFi solutions that offer value beyond connectivity,” said Taj Manku, Co-Founder and CEO of Cognitive Systems. “Like us, Airties aims to shape the next generation of wireless solutions and see the possibilities for motion sensing, from smarter home monitoring to a higher standard of eldercare. We’re doing the legwork with their Wi-Fi 6 portfolio to get WiFi Motion ready for some forward-thinking Airties service providers who want to offer these benefits to their customers as soon as possible.”
Cognitive Systems and Airties share a commitment to staying ahead of the market, both by being active members of the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) and closely following emerging trends. In addition to the current home monitoring capabilities, WiFi Motion’s highly anticipated eldercare solution will bring peace of mind to caregivers by providing discreet wellness monitoring without the need for cameras or wearable devices. The market for remote wellness monitoring products is growing rapidly. Soon customers will be able to receive notifications and gain valuable insights into not only their homes but also the homes of loved ones.
“As a pioneer and leader in Wi-Fi sensing, we are pleased to be working with Cognitive Systems on new Wi-Fi 6 solutions,” said Metin Taskin, Co-Founder and CTO of Airties. “Cognitive’s product roadmap has a realistic game plan for both implementation and longevity. The integration of WiFi Motion and Airties can enable service providers to offer innovative value-add Wi-Fi services to their customers.”
About Cognitive Systems Cognitive Systems Corp. is on a mission to transform the way WiFi networks are used. Its flagship technology, WiFi Motion™, uses wireless signals to sense motion in the home. WiFi Motion harnesses artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to reliably identify and localize motion for the smart home, home monitoring, and wellness monitoring markets. This patented technology is layered onto existing WiFi networks without additional hardware to enhance service provider and router manufacturer offerings. www.cognitivesystems.com https://www.linkedin.com/company/cognitive-systems-corp-/
About Airties Founded in 2004, Airties is the most widely deployed provider of managed in-home Wi-Fi solutions to operators around the globe. The company offers Smart Wi-Fi software, a cloud-based management platform, and Mesh extenders. Service providers turn to Airties for the design, implementation, and ongoing optimization of their customers’ broadband experience. With an installed base of over 30 million homes, Airties’ customers include: Altice USA, AT&T, Singtel, Sky, Telia, Telstra, and many others. More information is available at www.Airties.com.
EVM (Error Vector Magnitude) is the key metric used to evaluate RF transmitter performance, because it provides a consistent “yardstick” to characterize the transmitter regardless of the receiver implementation and it encapsulates a wide range of possible impairments on the transmitter chain into a single measurement. New Wi-Fi generations have increased the modulation constellation size with 1024-QAM and 4096-QAM, placing an even higher requirement into transmitter accuracy. In this blog, we will look at what EVM measures in Wi-Fi and how it is measured.
Quick Facts about QAM Constellation
With each new Wi-Fi generation, higher data rates are achieved by encoding more data bits per symbol. Higher-order QAM enables to transmit more data bits while maintaining the same spectrum footprint and therefore achieve better efficiency.
802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) supports up to 256-QAM where 8 bits of data are encoded per symbol
802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) supports up to 1024-QAM, where 10 bits of data are encoded per symbol
802.11be introduces 4096-QAM modulation with 12 bits of data per symbol
With a higher-order modulation, the constellation points are closer together and are therefore more susceptible to noise and non-linearities. The digital communication channel requires a better Signal-to-Noise ratio (SNR) to operate error free compared to using lower modulation rates, because the separation between constellation points is reduced and so is the decision distance in the receiver. The transmitter also needs to perform with significantly better accuracy, the Error Vector Magnitude (EVM) is the metric used to quantify the accuracy.
What is EVM?
Error Vector Magnitude is the most commonly used modulation quality metric in digital communications, it is a measure of the deviation of the actual constellation points from their ideal locations in the constellation diagram. The Root-Mean-Square (RMS) error is averaged over subcarriers, frequency segments, OFDM frames and spatial streams and measured at the symbol clock transitions. It is expressed in %Root-Mean-Square or dB.
EVM is a comprehensive measure of the transmit quality because it reflectssignal defects that affect the magnitude or phase of the transmitted symbol. It captures the sum of imperfections in the device implementation that impact the transmit symbol’s accuracy. Possible impairments can arise at the baseband, IF or RF elements of the transmit chain.
Some common types of corruption are:
I/Q gain and phase mismatch: gain mismatch originates from the two baseband modulation input signals (I and Q) having an amplitude difference at the upconverter. Phase (or Quadrature) mismatch occurs when the two modulated baseband signals are not 100% in quadrature (90°) when being up converted by the upconverter.
Symbol clock error: originating at the encoder, the symbol clock controls the frequency and timing of the transmission of the individual symbols
Phase noise: originating at the LO (RF or IF)
PA compression and non-linearity: originating in the power amplifier being operated in its compression region or showing non-linearity
IEEE EVM Requirements
The IEEE defines the maximum allowed transmitter constellation error as part of the standard. The maximum allowed depends on the data rate i.e. constellation size, since higher-order constellation requires a tighter modulation accuracy.
For 1024-QAM, the EVM requirement is ≤ -35 dB with amplitude drift compensation disabled in test equipment. If amplitude drift compensation is enabled in test equipment, the EVM requirement is ≤ -35 dB, and ≤ -32 dB with amplitude drift compensation disabled.
For 4096-QAM, EVM requirements as defined in IEEE 802.11be Draft 0.2
How is EVM Measured?
The test is performed over at least 20 frames. For 802.11ax HE-MU PPDU and HE-TB PPDU, if the occupied RU has 26 tones, the PPDUs under test shall be at least 32 data OFDM symbols long. For occupied RUs that have more than 26 tones, the PPDUs under test shall be at least 16 data OFDM symbols long. The frames should contain random data.
For an HE-TB PPDU with an RU smaller than a 2×996-tone RU, the test shall also include transmit modulation accuracy for the unoccupied subcarriers of the PPDU.
Because Wi-Fi operates on 3 frequency bands (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz and 6 GHz) the transmitter EVM performance should be verified at all transmit power levels and frequencies where the transmitter will operate.
Test equipment used for EVM measurements should support converting the transmitted signals into a stream of complex samples at 160 MHz or more, with sufficient accuracy in terms of I/Q amplitude and phase balance, dc offsets, phase noise, and analog-to- digital quantization noise to ensure low error margin in the measurements.
EVM Correction Items
EVM shows a dependency on the analysis options in the test equipment (such as Phase Tracking, Channel Estimate, Symbol Timing Tracking, Frequency Sync, and Amplitude Tracking). Because analysis parameters can improve EVM, they should be chosen carefully. Addition of non-standard EVM correction methods can artificially improve the DUT’s EVM measurement and hide defects that would have otherwise been detected. It is recommended to only apply IEEE standard defined EVM analysis methods to ensure an objective characterization of the DUT’s transmitter performance.
The following lists the EVM measurement and correction methods:
IEEE defined EVM analysis:
Frequency correction: Because the receiver and transmitters have separate clocks, this correction removes the frequency error of the transmitter from the receiver.
Phase correction: Because the receiver and transmitters have separate clocks, devices must correct for clock misalignment.
Preamble channel estimate: The channel between the tester and DUT is calculated and corrected based on Pilot tones.
IEEE optional EVM analysis:
Amplitude Drift Compensation: The 802.11ax standard places a different target EVM whether amplitude drift compensation is enabled in the test equipment. Amplitude drift compensation, also called amplitude tracking,removes variations due to amplitude changes between symbols. When EVM is measured with the minimum IEEE required PPDU size of 16 data OFDM symbols, the effects of amplitude drift may not be noticeable. However, when longer PPDUs are used (e.g. A-MPDU), amplitude drift may have a more pronounced effect and result in degraded EVM. If amplitude drift causing defects are present, enabling amplitude tracking in the test equipment will hide these defects resulting in a better EVM measurement. While most modern DUT Wi-Fi receivers are able to compensate for amplitude drift, defects causing amplitude drift like PA thermal performance could get masked by the use of amplitude tracking. During design evaluation and troubleshooting, EVM should be measured with and without amplitude drift compensation. A large delta between the 2 measurements will indicate an underlying condition.
Non-standard EVM corrections:
Full Packet Channel Estimate: With this correction, the channel between tester and DUT is calculated using all the data packets. When the channel model is estimated based upon the full packet, the EVM improves because the channel model more closely fits the full packet. However, within a real-world receiver application, the packets are processed in real-time, and the channel is estimated based on the header only. This correction artificially improves EVM measurement and could hide possible phase noise, analog flatness or IQ mismatch issues (bad VCO, XTAL, compression, thermal issues, power supply)
Channel estimate equalization: This correction removes phase noise and amplitude response from the channel, it assumes flat channel response. This correction could hide possible phase noise and analog flatness issues (bad PA, matching).
Using non-standard EVM correction can artificially improve measurements and hide underlying EVM impairments, therefore care should be taken in the selection of these parameters.
Test Equipment and Error Margin
As the requirements for the transmitter modulation accuracy rise, so do the requirements of the equipment necessary to test it. The DUT transmitter’s EVM measurement requires the test equipment’s own EVM floor to perform even better in order to provide a small measurement error.
For measuring the same DUT performance, a larger margin between DUT performance and the tester’s EVM floor will result in a smaller measurement error.
As shown in the chart above:
16dB margin between DUT’s EVM and tester’s EVM floor results in a 0.1dB error uncertainty to the measurement
6dB margin between DUT’s EVM and tester’s EVM floor results in a 1dB error uncertainty to the measurement
0dB margin between DUT’s EVM and tester’s EVM floor results in 3dB error uncertainty to the measurement
For high order modulations 1024-QAM or 4096-QAM, that require stringent transmitter accuracy, selecting test equipment with low EVM floor is critical, otherwise the error uncertainty contributed by the test equipment reduces the confidence in the final measurement. In extreme cases, where the tester’s EVM floor equals that of the DUT, the measurement error is too large to determine if DUT meets the IEEE EVM requirements.
EVM provides a concise “one number” summary of the transmitter quality as it encapsulates a wide range of possible impairments on the transmitter chain. EVM is used during the design phase to characterize devices and uncover underlying sources of distortions. Because of its simplicity, it is also used in manufacturing to guarantee that transmitters will operate properly in real-world environments. However, it is important to understand that EVM is a calculated metric and numerous correction terms are possible that modify the measurement. The test equipment’s EVM floor is an equally important factor that affects the accuracy of the measurement. LitePoint’s IQxel family of testers provide best-in-class EVM performance to ensure high confidence in EVM measurements for the latest Wi-Fi generation.
For a fresh new brand in the extended stay hotel industry, the requirement of security and scalability couldn’t come at the sacrifice of cost effectiveness or user experience. The client called in World Cinema (WCI), known for executive beautifully in environments just like this.
Case Study: Extended Stay Hotel Brand with an “All Things Connected” Feel
While not so much a problem to solve as a challenge to address, WCI still had a unique host of requirements to meet when it came time to outfit the networks for a series of new locations for an emerging extended stay hotel client in the Southeastern and Southern US market.
Enter World Cinema, known in the hotel industry, student housing senior living, master-planned community, healthcare, and other multifamily facilities for the complete connectivity solution, ImpruviX. With a winning concept in hand and the backing of Sonora Network Solutions and Cambium Networks, WCI set out to create plans for implementing a total solution.
For this extended stay hotel chain, across multiple locations opening throughout 2020, WCI devised a layered solution standardized around Cambium Networks and offering property-to-property consistency and value that is unheard of in the affordable suites segment. With Sonora involved to utilize the RXG Gateway device, this added ease of use through authentication and branding standardization, with customizations that added further value for the client. This included managed video services, using the gateway to manage the CASB solution.
WCI’s ImpruviX solution offers unparalleled security segmentation and instant onboarding, making it a clear choice for clients like this. With tangible ROI and monetization opportunities built into the solution, as well as the business value of lower cost of ownership (without sacrificing quality or security), ImpruviX delivers industry-leading service and features into new verticals that have never had access to this level of solution in previous competitors price points.
Affordable Suites, Boutique User Connectivity
After installation and go-live, this extended stay hotel chain is enjoying affordable and sophisticated connectivity at a greatly reduced cost of ownership. This is creating an uncommonly high-end experience for their guests and has made the brand’s senior leadership and executive team very happy with WCI’s installation.
What’s more, the level of connectedness and automation guests of the chain are experiencing has allowed them to travel freely, social distance readily while the pandemic is still a factor, and still have a number of concierge-level amenities virtually available to them via the hotel network and app.