Deutsche Telekom puts new home WiFi platform together

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WiFi symbol in highlight concrete wall.

Deutsche Telekom has awarded a WiFi gateway deal to French vendor Sagemcom, passing its usual hardware partner Huawei. Throw in a chipset and analytics toolkit from Quantenna, combined with the AirTies extenders DT started shipping in February, and the German telco has the foundations for a tight WiFi operation as a foundation of its grand video streaming ambitions.

The Speedport Pro gateway is the new addition to the operator’s Speedport portfolio. This is an upgraded hybrid device for VDSL Super Vectoring and LTE, which will roll out to subscribers in Germany from December, available for a one-off cost of €400 or for €9.95 a month. DT first proposed the idea of a hybrid device back in 2014, designed to expand its reach and sign up customers in rural areas on the back of cellular – making its way through various vendors with each new version as it strives to perfect the difficult hybrid DSL/LTE experience.

Shortly after the Speedport Pro design was unveiled at the recent IFA trade show in Berlin, Quantenna announced that its QSR10GU chipset is powering the device, featuring an ESP (Encapsulating Security Payload) algorithm to enhance beamforming, 8 x 8 MIMO and advanced MU-MIMO algorithms.

Seemingly Huawei has fallen out of favor with the German operator. It was selected in 2016 to build the Entertain TV set-top, which serves as a multiscreen gateway to smartphones and tablets, but now DT has moved to Sagemcom, plus investing in addition-al components from WiFi experts Quantenna and AirTies.

Celeno has previously supplied WiFi silicon and software in DT set-tops and Speedport gateways, including the Speedport W 102 Bridge, but these deals date back to around 2011 so it is unclear whether Quantenna represents a direct switch-out. Huawei is likely using some kind of ARM-based chip from its HiSilicon subsidiary to drive newer versions of its Entertain TV set-top, including the 4K device released late last year.

Quantenna says the Speedport Pro works seamlessly with EntertainTV, bundling DSL and LTE mobile services, with the QSR10GU chipset enabling more simultaneous WiFi streams with improved range and reliability. It explains that mesh repeaters powered by the QSR10GU support more clients, and we know Quantenna has licensed mesh WiFi software from AirTies so we see no reason why the Speedport Pro would not be compatible with the mesh WiFi extenders DT sources from the Turkish firm. In time most mesh components will work together as suppliers endorse EasyMesh to translate commands.

In addition, Quantenna’s ViSiON WiFi management tool has been deployed alongside its chipset. This is an analytics tool to accelerate deployment times from the lab and soothe the teething process for a WiFi device’s first year in the field.

Additional specs for the new Speedport Pro include LTE support on six bands with double carrier aggregation, so by connecting VDSL Super Vectoring and LTE Cat. 6 with the Speedport Pro, a maximum downlink of 550Mbps is possible with an uplink of 90Mbps. The 5 GHz 802.11ac standard is supported with 8 x 8 MU-MIMO for a maximum theoretical throughput of 8,600Mbps, while the 802.11n runs 4 x 4 MIMO for up to 1,000Mbps.

Meanwhile, AirTies has landed another European major ISP customer – Norway’s Get, currently in the process of being acquired by Telia. Get has 372,000 broadband home sub-scribers in Norway and many more business subscribers, making a total user base of over one million.

For more information on managed home Wi-Fi, please refer to our landmark report From Managed Home Wi-Fi to Enabling the Secure Smart Home 2018-2023

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Caroline has been analyzing and reporting in the hi-tech industries since 1986 and has a huge wealth of experience of technology trends and how they impact on business models. She started her career as a journalist, specializing in enterprise and carrier networks and in silicon technologies. She spent much of her journalistic career at VNU Business Publishing, then Europe’s largest producer of technology publications and information services . She was publishing director for the launch of VNU’s pan-European online content services, and then European editorial director. She then made the move from publishing into technology market analysis and consulting, and in 2002 co-founded Rethink Technology Research with Peter White. Rethink specializes in trends and business models for wireless, converged and quad play operators round the world and the technologies that support them. Caroline’s role is to head up the wireless side of the business, leading the creation of research, newsletters and consulting services focused on mobile platforms and operator models. In this role, she has become a highly recognized authority on 4G systems such as LTE and WiMAX, and a prolific speaker at industry events. Consulting and research clients come from major mobile operators, the wireless supply chain and financial institutions.

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