Wi-Fi QoS Management™ empowers work-from-home employees
May 10, 2021 by Ken Kerpez
Working from home has risen vastly over the past year, and this trend looks to be here to stay. While a user may ignore occasional blips in their “for fun” internet, working from home requires a new level of network performance. Ensuring Wi-Fi® Quality of Service (QoS) is arguably the most important component of such performance, and Wi-Fi CERTIFIED QoS Management™ is now able to provide the reliability that working from home requires.
The importance of Wi-Fi QoS Management™ when working from home
Wi-Fi is becoming one of the most important approaches for connecting devices to the internet. Consumers are demanding that operators provide a high quality Wi-Fi experience when it comes to Wi-Fi connectivity across all devices. In particular, work-from-home, or telework, has emerged as a vitally important application supported by Wi-Fi. There is a growing need for operators to manage and ensure mission critical telework traffic over Wi-Fi, and residential connections should be managed to ensure connectivity and performance that enables productive employees. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED QoS Management has now emerged to ensure telework traffic is prioritized, resulting in an improved work-from-home experience for employees.
The technology driving Wi-Fi QoS Management
Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Wi-Fi Multimedia™ (WMM®) provides the over-the-air mechanisms to support traffic prioritization, including prioritization of work from home traffic. While WMM can prioritize telework applications to ensure their service quality, it did not provide the capabilities to link the Wi-Fi layer with the IP or application layers for residential Wi-Fi.
Wi-Fi CERTIFIED QoS Management simplifies the prioritization and management of latency-sensitive traffic in Wi-Fi networks by enabling IP data flows to be classified and mapped to one of four QoS access categories defined by WMM. This helps ensure that traffic for real-time applications and services is inserted into queues with higher priority, resulting in a better experience for end-users.
Wi-Fi QoS Management supports Differentiated Service Code Point (DSCP) mapping, which is a marking in the IP packet headers for managing network priority and QoS across the network. Wi-Fi QoS Management can classify traffic and map flows into DSCP code points, whereby work-related flows are identified and assigned to high priorities. Wi-Fi QoS Management then enables configuration mapping of the IP-layer DSCP markings to WMM categories, allowing for prioritization and ensuring QoS on Wi-Fi. The essential component of priority across the Wi-Fi link is enabled by Wi-Fi QoS Management. In addition, Wi-Fi QoS Management can similarly support Mirrored Stream Classification Service (MSCS) to ensure QoS of work applications on client devices across the Wi-Fi link.
Solutions available to harness benefits of Wi-Fi QoS Management
Solutions such as ASSIA Equipe are coming to market to harness the benefits of Wi-Fi QoS Management for employees working from home. This Wi-Fi management platform runs on Wi-Fi gateways and Wi-Fi extenders in conjunction with a cloud-based management system and a smartphone application that the employee interacts with. Equipe collects and analyzes many Wi-Fi performance-related parameters to determine and optimize “Workput”—an AI model that learns the true impact of an individual’s connectivity for telework. Ensuring work from home prioritization for Telework QoS is crucial to high Workput.
The use of Wi-Fi QoS Management by such solutions enables operators to take a great step forward by prioritizing critical workflows to support telework as a service. For instance, Equipe can use Wi-Fi QoS Management to assign high priority and support end-to-end QoS of Workput flows across the network, particularly across the crucial Wi-Fi link. It is Wi-Fi QoS Management’s ability to support prioritization of these flows that makes it so critical to telework, enabling employees to enjoy a high quality work from home experience.
In many households, Wi-Fi is shared between time-sensitive, performance-oriented work flows and more casual traffic. Wi-Fi QoS management enables mission-critical applications to meet their delay and quality requirements, ensuring the now-pervasive needs of telework can now be fully supported.
Kerpez is a leader in broadband and wireless communications, having graduated with a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering on communications theory in 1989. After working at Bellcore and Telcordia, he joined ASSIA, about nine years ago he began to assist with ASSIA’s CloudCheck Wi-Fi diagnostics and optimization system. Kerpez is active in Wi-Fi Alliance. He has authored over 800 contributions for broadband, home networking, and Wi-Fi standards.