Tag: cloud managed wifi

    How to deploy ANTlabs Advanced QoS/QoS+ and dramatically improve your Wi-Fi network

    Are users complaining about slow WiFi speeds? Do you want to provide your guests, or staff with all the bandwidth they need?

    Are you struggling to meet bandwidth requirements for guest WiFi, and cringing at the prospect of asking Management for yet another budget request to buy more internet connections?  Wished you read this article before the last budget request?

    Have you been asked to implement QoS on your network but don’t know where to start? This blog post will explain how Advanced QoS can help you with all the above. Let’s get started!

    Basic QoS 101

    Quality of Service (QoS) can help you by providing better control and management of your traffic. QoS can improve your user experience by giving certain types of traffic priority over others. This can be especially useful if you have time-sensitive applications or need to manage large amounts of traffic.

    Without QoS, your network would be a free-for-all where every application competes for bandwidth equally. That might work fine for small networks, but as soon as you start adding more users and applications, things can get bogged down quickly.  With QoS, you can give priority to the traffic that matters most to your business. For example, you can prioritize voice traffic over email or video streaming. Alternatively, you may decide that social media usage like YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter is banned in your network.

    However, not all QoS features are built equal. You need to understand that simple QoS solutions don’t help much, if at all. For example, simple rate-limit, or device-level QoS control targets individual devices. It has no idea what applications are being used, who the user is, or how many devices within the same room are hogging all the bandwidth. A small group of users can monopolize the network. Implementing QoS can be complex, but the benefits are worth it.

    antlabs multi wan bandwidth solution

    What is Advanced QoS / QoS+ and how does it work?

    Save money and time, while improving the end-user experience: Advanced QOS (AQoS) and Advanced QoS Plus (AQoS+) module from ANTlabs control who gets priority, where, and when. No need to buy expensive network equipment, and spend days installing and troubleshooting, as both are software modules add-on to our ANTlabs gateways.  It is easy to deploy and optimizes throughput over a network with a multi-stage QoS engine and customizable application shaping. It enables you to grant VIP users more bandwidth, speeds up those applications that need them (e.g., VoIP or IPTV), and it provides comprehensive control over the quality of your network.  The IT administrator just needs to define the locations, and QoS plans that is to be applied to different user groups, and simply configure on a graphical web-based interface on our managed Cloud Wi-Fi platform (ASP/Cloud ASP).

    ANTlabs Advanced QoS / QoS+ is a powerhouse

    With more than 20 years of R&D and industry experience for visitor-based networking in hospitality and large venues, ANTlabs has purpose-built the QoS engine to optimize hospitality Wi-Fi, and offer world-class airports and sports venues superior guest Wi-Fi solutions.

    One of the unique features of the ANTlabs Advanced QoS 3-stage engine is its capability to allow multiple devices to share a single bandwidth rate limit per user. For example, you wish to allocate 10MB per guest or staff. Each user will only use up this amount of bandwidth among all his/her active devices, and it will be shared equally amongst them.

    With the Advanced QoS 3-stage engine, bandwidth utilization can be maximized by creating differentiated classes of services for different groups of users.

    All user traffic goes through the Advanced QoS 3-stage engine:

    Stage 1.  As we mentioned earlier, the first stage engine is unique to ANTlabs, and applies bandwidth rate limit to the individual user instead of device-level. Together with authentication, this innovation allows different users to be treated according to their VIP status or needs, instead of blindly applying one simple limit to a device.

    Stage 2.  This second stage engine defines different QoS Tiers (Guaranteed Tier, Premium Tier and Basic Tier) where different user groups can be assigned to the desired tier. Between the tiers, higher or lower priorities are given as to who gets the bandwidth, and the IT Manager can specify the total maximum bandwidth allocated to a tier for better control.  In this way, no single group of users can monopolize the whole network and the IT Dept has better visibility and control.  Furthermore, the surplus bandwidth from any bandwidth tier, can be temporarily re-allocated to another congested bandwidth tier automatically, optimizing network resources.

    Stage 3.  In the third stage, global application traffic shaping can be applied to network ports used by applications. This allows the bandwidth used by specific types of applications (of all users) to be controlled further.  In this way, more control can be applied so that no application will be starved for network resources.  Certain applications’ bandwidth consumption can be suppressed or given more priority to use up the network bandwidth.

    Advanced QoS Plus (QoS+) is the latest innovation leap by ANTlabs.  It has all the features of the original Advanced QoS module and more! As some applications like BitTorrent evolve to evade port-based application blocking, Advanced QoS+ classifies the applications more accurately based on website categorization without relying on which network ports are being used.  This signature-based website categorization is regularly updated to improve accuracy.  Another improvement is more fine-grained control for the global application shaping.  By allowing you to define QoS policies for different user groups, you can optimize the network further with better accuracy.

    For example, you can create a special user group to give priority to streaming services.   When you apply this to paying customers or VVIP customers, they will be able to enjoy better quality streaming in their rooms or anywhere in the network.   You can also make your network more family-friendly and safer by blocking adult-related, gambling sites or known blacklisted sites.

    How does Advanced QoS /QoS+ help improve the user experience?

    As far as the users are concerned, they will find that applications will now run better on their devices with Advanced QoS enabled. They may not even notice any slowdown or pausing in their applications, and simply assume more internet connections were added. If you are a VIP user, you will be pleased that even in public areas, you enjoy a faster and better quality of bandwidth compared to guest users. For the management, you can be assured that the existing network resources are well-optimized, and buying more Internet bandwidth can be delayed or dispensed with.  In some cases, you may even scale down the number of internet connections, and save costs since network usage has become more efficient.

    Conclusion

    In conclusion, by deploying ANTlabs’ Advanced QoS / QoS+, you can greatly improve your network performance and ensure that critical applications always have the bandwidth they need. You don’t need a lot of network expertise or expensive hardware to implement.  By carefully planning your QoS strategy and implementing it correctly, you can take your network to the next level and please everyone (including the bosses!), leaving you more time to handle other pressing matters.

    Make sure to include ANTlabs’ Advanced QoS or Advanced QoS Plus module in your next budget request so that you don’t need to go back to ask for more in future!

     

    Wi-Fi for MDUs requires a unique service management feature set

    ANTlabs is featured on Wi-Fi NOW regarding the Wi-Fi managed services platform, ASP / ASP Cloud, as well as a host of gateway features and services like Advanced QoS, Personal Area Network (PAN), and Web Filtering to enhance the user experience for MDUs (Multi-Dwelling Units).

    Introduction

    The demand for managed Wi-Fi services for MDUs is on the rise worldwide, but standard enterprise-grade Wi-Fi services are rarely the right solutions for residential premises. The answer is a dedicated Wi-Fi feature set that affords residents all the benefits of professional MDU Wi-Fi including security, dynamic quality of service (QoS) management, and personal area networks.

    MDUs are characterised by a lot of building tenants often living relatively close together. The need for dynamic quality of service management is important – as is delivering the right security. Add to this that tenants also want to be able to share content over the private Wi-Fi networks inside their unit only. Standard enterprise-grade Wi-Fi management – even in the Cloud – is simply not enough.  MSPs (Managed Service Providers) offering managed Wi-Fi service in an MDU environment will benefit greatly from ANTlabs solutions that improve productivity, and boost user satisfaction and operational efficiency.

    Read more about it below…

    Wi-Fi for MDUs requires a unique service management feature set, says ANTlabs

    Automation: The Next Big Thing for Cloud and Digitization

    A for Automation

    According to Wikipedia, automation describes a wide range of technologies that reduce human intervention in processes. As the tongue-in-cheek section header implies, automation may very soon be the first thing on your priority to-do list.  Much has been said about the merits of moving to the “Cloud” or “Digitization”.  While shifting to the cloud or making business processes more digital will have some inherent productivity gains or even strategic advantages, we feel that automation is key to driving more impactful revenue and operational results.

    Automation is critical to providing a consistent and satisfying customer experience, benefiting from expert decision-making, or ensuring a high level of service quality.  These are attributes that are especially important for the service industry, including for Network Managed Service Providers (MSPs), Telcos, and the Hospitality industry.

    The power of “Automation” in the palm of your hand

    Benefits of Automation for the MSPs, Telcos and Hospitality Industry

    1.  As business activities pick up, MSPs that can scale up and down quickly and cost-effectively will be able to benefit from this trend. Venue owners and businesses who are facing uncertainty will prefer low start-up cost and pay-as-you-use subscription business models. MSPs who can provide flexibility to customers and tune their pricing models quickly will dominate the market. “Wi-Fi-as-a-service” (WiFi-aaS) is fast gaining popularity and increasingly preferred.

    2.  The demand for Enterprise managed Wi-Fi services should pick up as business owners and corporates want to outsource infrastructure investment or migrate from Capex to Opex spending model, while relying on MSPs to deliver reliable wireless connectivity for their operations. Centralized monitoring, with easy remote onboarding of customers while empowering them to self-help or administer basic functions are critical success factors.

    3.  It is important for MSPs to have deep understanding of their target customer segments and what is happening in their network, in order to spot business opportunities or respond quickly to operational issues respectively. In the past, many MSPs have built systems in silos to address different business opportunities which made data consolidation and analytics difficult or impossible. A good centralized system that incorporates data analytics with machine learning can help both Marketing, Business Development and Operations team to better address market segments and ensure service levels are met.

    ANTlabs ASP / ASP Cloud Managed Wi-Fi Solutions for MSPs

    There are many ways that automation can be applied to allow companies to reap the benefits mentioned earlier. Here are some examples that ANTlabs has helped evolve our customer’s business processes with our product features or our ability to help customize to their requirements.

    Backup and recovery automation for optimum system availability and resiliency

    With our ASP managed service platform or ASP Cloud service, configuration and recovery data can be backed up centrally. During system failures at a local site, high availability on our gateways automatically kicks in, preventing service downtime. Alerts are sent out automatically. In the event of a full local system failure, the MSP can quickly send in a replacement unit and restore the service fast with the backups that are stored in the cloud. With simple instructions, a non-IT staff can power up a gateway and allow both the gateway and ASP to automatically self-configure and restore optimized settings finetuned by IT group corporate. All these can be monitored remotely by an administrator(s) from our ASP platform.

    Dynamic login pages automation for best user experience and lower operation workload

    The IT Administrator of a MICE venue can predefine and configure new login portal pages to be shown at a specific location at a specific date and time so that they don’t have to remember to change or rush to make last-minute changes before a new event starts. Our Event Manager module helps save time, while potentially allowing non-IT staff to help in times of manpower crunch with the easy-to-use, and intuitive user interface.

    Automated surveys for more customer satisfaction insights

    A customer satisfaction survey can be sent automatically after a guest has checked out of a hotel or finished a meal at a restaurant. Instead of relying on staff to remember to do this mundane step and collate the results, such a simple form of automation can alert management if service standards have been exemplary or degraded.

    Improve Telcos and MSPs productivity and mitigate manpower resources crunch

    During government-mandated lockdowns, ANTlabs Tru’AUTH AAA and Tru’IP DHCP/DNS systems have aided Telcos and MSPs to respond rapidly to shifting consumption spikes of bandwidth in the network. AAA authentication, DHCP, and DNS service are important network services for a Telco. With automation, a much leaner network team could bring up new network coverage quickly and shift the required network resources to multiple sites without sacrificing quality. Coupled with the use of telemetry data, automated expert rules can help Operations teams during maintenance windows to ensure that pre-established operational procedures set up by experienced operators can be faithfully executed by less experienced staff. Real-time visibility on our systems, help provide human engineers or managers with speedy confirmation of service recovery and relevant reports for audit.

    The above examples illustrate the wide range that automation can enhance service quality in small steps for individual customers or create a huge impact on an operator’s network affecting millions.

    antlabs telemetry and network automation

    Conclusion

    Automation is the next step to realize the benefits of shifting to the cloud and digitization of business processes. For more than 20 years, ANTlabs has built robust networking solutions for Telcos, MSPs, large venues, and the hospitality industry. With our unique insight into the needs of small venue owners to large-scale network operators, we continually apply automation through product innovation and customize for our customers. The ability to customize to our customers’ environment is one of many unique advantages offered by ANTlabs.

    Automation is key to driving more impactful revenue and operational results. It will allow the MSPs, Telcos, and hospitality industry to provide a consistently high-quality customer experience, respond faster to a dynamic business environment and ensure a high level of operational efficiency.

     

     

     

    managed wifi service providers. automation

    How Managed Wi-Fi Service Providers can prosper in 2022

    A new year of challenges and opportunities

    As the new Lunar Year of the Tiger is upon us, we are hopeful that 2022 will be a year of opportunities for managed service providers (MSPs) providing Managed Wi-Fi services. For the past 2 years, there have been unpredictable drops in customer demand and business activity, as well as sudden surges after lull periods. Shortage of labour and supply chain disruptions have also created unforeseen issues which require innovative solutions and change in mindset and paradigms to ride through the challenges. Technology and innovation are often cited as catalysts to help businesses transform to overcome these disruptions and emerge more agile and competitive. So how can MSPs position themselves to win in 2022?

    Here are 5 ways that we believe MSPs can take advantage of the business opportunities:

    1. As business activities pick up, MSPs that can scale up and down quickly and cost-effectively will be able to benefit from this trend. Venue owners and businesses who are facing uncertainty will prefer low start-up cost and pay-as-you-use subscription business models. MSPs who can provide flexibility to customers and tune their pricing models quickly will dominate the market. “Wi-Fi-as-a-service” (WiFi-aaS) is fast gaining popularity and increasingly preferred.

    2. The demand for Enterprise managed Wi-Fi services should pick up as business owners and corporates want to outsource infrastructure investment or migrate from Capex to Opex spending model, while relying on MSPs to deliver reliable wireless connectivity for their operations. Centralized monitoring, with easy remote onboarding of customers while empowering them to self-help or administer basic functions are critical success factors.

    3. It is important for MSPs to have deep understanding of their target customer segments and what is happening in their network, in order to spot business opportunities or respond quickly to operational issues respectively. In the past, many MSPs have built systems in silos to address different business opportunities which made data consolidation and analytics difficult or impossible. A good centralized system that incorporates data analytics with machine learning can help both Marketing, Business Development and Operations team to better address market segments and ensure service levels are met.

    ANTlabs ASP / ASP Cloud Managed Wi-Fi Solutions for MSPs

    With more than 2 decades of experience working with Telcos, service providers and hospitality players, ANTlabs has developed a centralized managed service platform called ASP (ANTlabs Service Platform) that can help MSPs address the opportunities outlined here. For customers with small number of sites, ANTlabs also provides ASP Cloud – a pay-as-you-use subscription service based on the same ASP platform to help them get started and realize the benefits that would otherwise be inaccessible to them.

    Launch New Cloud Managed WiFi Services Easily with ANTlabs ASP / ASP Cloud

    4. While wireless connectivity is indispensable, it is also fast becoming a commodity. Yet delivering good quality high-speed internet access (HSIA) service can make or break the success of WiFi-aaS for MSPs. Consistently high quality of service (QoS) requires end to end effort: from the edge devices providing differentiated network QoS control for different user groups, to controlling what kinds of application traffic has priority so that overall user experience is enhanced.

    Beyond HSIA: User-aware, location aware services

    Besides HSIA as a service, MSPs should allow other network services to easily launched and subscribed by end customers. ANTlabs ASP platform has the unique ability to allow MSPs to launch user-aware, location-aware services that are customizable to fit different customer segments. Take for example, a web filtering service to protect network users from malware or undesirable content. MSPs can provide a different customer profile with a corresponding set of filtering criteria for corporate use, versus, hospitality customers.

    5. Finally, with the trend to move business processes online and the shift towards Cloud operations, MSPs should leverage on the same WiFi-aaS platform to capture customers in other business verticals. ANTlabs ASP platform has multi-tenancy features that allow different end user organizations to subscribe and manage their own network, and flexible features that allow the MSPs to address different verticals like corporate, hospitality, retail, finance and even education. With small increment cost, MSPs can leverage on the ANTlabs ASP platform to expand their existing business by providing Managed WiFi business to new business verticals.

    Conclusion

    ANTlabs has built the ASP platform to be a robust centralized managed service platform for MSPs to realize a scalable, and cost-effective Managed WiFi Service model with the added benefit of launching new services quickly, and allowing them to expand beyond their traditional hospitality or corporate customer base. As WiFi-as-as-service (WiFi-aaS) becomes the norm with more businesses going online in 2022 and beyond, MSPs who can capitalize on these trends will have first-mover advantage and build a sustainable and profitable business.

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