The new standard, the TR-398 Indoor Wi-Fi Performance Test Standard (TR-398) was announced during Mobile World Congress 2019.
TR-398 is the first standard that systematically and quantitatively evaluates home Wi-Fi device performance across six dimensions: receiver sensitivity, throughput, coverage, multi-user support, anti-interference, and stability. By defining Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), such as the Wi-Fi equivalent bandwidth (throughput), rate at different distances, and throughput for multiple online users, the standard helps telecom operators and end users select optimal Wi-Fi solutions.
With the rapid development of 4K TV, online gaming, and smart homes, statistics from Broadband Forum show that more than 1 billion users now have access to fixed broadband, and Wi-Fi has become one of the basic broadband services provided by operators. More and more operators provide Wi-Fi service packages to enhance the home broadband experience of end users. However, the quality of Wi-Fi networks is far from perfect, and severely hampers broadband service development. Ovum reports show that Wi-Fi problems account for 30-60% of operators’ broadband complaints; poor experience in home broadband services restricts development of 4K video and VR services; and frequent network faults greatly increase operators’ O&M costs.
Clearly, home Wi-Fi quality is vital to both delivering a high-quality broadband experience and to operators’ operational efficiencies, yet there were no existing unified performance testing standards – until now.
The TR-398 standard describes the purpose, test scope, conditions, test cases, and standard thresholds for indoor home gateway Wi-Fi performance testing, helping telecom operators efficiently test indoor Wi-Fi performance, develop home networks and video services, and improve home broadband experience.
According to Broadband Forum CEO Robin Mersh, Wi-Fi is the key infrastructure for broadband Internet access in the connected home and for a high-quality ultra HD video experience.
“Wi-Fi performance of single gateways must meet service requirements and comply with standards to support industry development,” said Mersh. “The goal of TR-398 is to define carrier-class home Wi-Fi performance.”
From its inception as a project within Broadband Forum, TR-398 has received extensive industry attention. More than 16 operators and equipment vendors have actively participated in and supported the drafting of the standard. Many operators around the world are known to be planning to use TR-398 as the Wi-Fi performance admission specification for home broadband customer-premises equipment (CPE).