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August 22, 2023
Finnish kit maker Nokia has relaunched its home wifi software suite under a new name and with some additional bells and whistles.
Formerly known as Wi-Fi Cloud Controller, the marketing department has since had a proper stab at it, and now it goes by the name Corteca.
There are three elements to it.
Corteca Cloud is a hosted intelligent controller that offers the vaunted ‘single pane of glass’ interface for managing home wifi networks and keeping tabs on the devices that connect to them. There is also a version specifically for monitoring the performance of fixed-wireless access (FWA) performance.
Then there is Corteca Device Software, which powers Nokia’s range of broadband devices for fibre and FWA gateways, and mesh wifi beacons. It comes with a mobile app that gives end users the ability to self-install and manage their devices.
These are available now, but will be joined later this year by what is perhaps the most striking addition to the line-up – Corteca Marketplace.
The reason this is potentially more significant is because telcos continue to try – frequently in vain – to convince customers to bolt various value-added services (VaS) onto their basic subscription. They typically take the form of cybersecurity services, back-up connectivity via cellular, or offers on streaming and gaming services, and so-on.
Corteca Marketplace offers a new, microservices-led approach with try-before-you-buy applications designed to enhance the in-home broadband experience. These could involve enhancing wifi performance for specific services, like video streaming, gaming or remote working, for example.
Provided they are offered at an attractive price point, these applications could amount to a welcome albeit modest new source of revenue for operators, one that requires little effort on their part since most of the heavy lifting is undertaken by Nokia.
The launch comes as Nokia claims that more than 40% of households report issues with in-home connectivity. The vendor says telcos are still plagued by complex installation processes, limited interoperability, inconsistent coverage and dead zones, leading to frustrated customers.
“Providing an unparalleled broadband user experience in the home has long been a challenge that operators continue to grapple with today,” said Michael Philpott, research director, Digital Consumer Services at Omdia.
“Navigating the complex terrain of single Wi-Fi interfaces, device compatibility and user behaviour requires a harmonious symphony of technical expertise and customer-centric solutions,” he said. “Having the ability to both manage the devices in the home and deliver value applications that can be targeted to each unique customer can be a game changer for operators seeking to drive enhanced user experiences and generate additional revenue.
Recent trials of Corteca generated encouraging results. Nokia claims its software resulted in a 70% improvement in peak-hour Wi-Fi throughput, and reduced average call handling time of helpdesk calls by 50%.
In addition, the revamped Corteca suite also uses open standards as far as possible in an effort to ensure compatibility with a broad range of hardware and service providers.
“Similar to what the PC market and the mobile phone market did in the past, the CPE market is systematically separating the application from the operating system in order to empower developers, enable operators, and delight users,” said Justin Doucette, head of Wi-Fi for Fixed Networks and Broadband Devices at Nokia, in a statement. “The key is a unique and truly open approach – with no vendor lock-in and the ability to onboard and integrate with third parties.”
Nick is a freelancer who has covered the global telecoms industry for more than 15 years. Areas of expertise include operator strategies; M&As; and emerging technologies, among others. As a freelancer, Nick has contributed news and features for many well-known industry publications. Before that, he wrote daily news and regular features as deputy editor of Total Telecom. He has a first-class honours degree in journalism from the University of Westminster.
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