Residential installers getting new tools to overcome 'Wi-Fi crunch'

Residential installers are facing a "spectrum crunch," with IoT and video technologies like 4K driving a 100-fold increase in wireless bandwidth needs for many domiciles over the last 10 years. 

As showcased by the Wall Street Journal, the problem of too many devices -- both inside the home and externally from the domiciles of neighbors -- is going to get worse instead of better. 

By 2017, the average household will have 17 connected devices, according to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development. But by 2022, that number is expected to climb to 50.

Enter a cadre of new Wi-Fi solutions, most of which were first developed for the enterprise market. 

A new company called Plume has assembled a number of wireless industry veterans and 14 different patents to create an inexpensive (around $100) technology tool it calls "adaptive Wi-Fi." Essentially, each room in the house will have its own "dumb" antenna.

"As much as we love to hate our cable company, they actually do a pretty good job delivering broadband today," reads the pitch on Plume's website. "The truth is, that piece of Wi-Fi hardware your cable company installed three years ago is better at gathering dust than giving you awesome Wi-Fi. Even the new, top-of-the-line retail routers or the ridiculously expensive mesh systems are dated the minute you buy them."

Another solution, which relies on mesh networking and placing additional antenna nodes around the home, is Eero, a solution that runs around $200, according to WSJ.

Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA), meanwhile, has been quietly testing a technology that relies on networks of routers and coax spread across newer homes, the paper added.

And Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) is also working on a "mesh-network" solution.

For more:
- read this Wall Street Journal story

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