How can Communication Service Providers deliver innovative WiFi services today?

WiFi routers and access points make up the world’s largest edge connectivity real estate. Yet many of these devices have not added any new services in the last decade.

Customer-premises equipment (CPE) including WiFi routers available today in homes and businesses are more than capable of delivering services beyond the standard bundle of voice, data, and video. However, up until now, it’s been challenging to modernize the CPE stack so that it can be updated and secured, let alone offer new services to subscribers.

A previous post discussed the differences between the Pantavisor engine and the Pantavisor system. To summarize, the main difference is its runtime mode. The Pantavisor system runs lower in the embedded stack and comes with Pantavisor-enabled Board Support Packages (BSP) which it can manage and update. Pantavisor engine runs on top of existing firmware, keeping it intact but enabling containerized apps to be deployed and updated.

In this post, we’ll look at the challenges and the use cases for the engine vs. the system and how Communication Service Providers (CSPs) and equipment and device manufacturers (OEMs) can benefit from each Pantavisor runtime mode.

You can also find out more in our Solution brochures:

Modernize CPE with open source technology

With Pantavisor, operators can update CPE with the speed and agility of the cloud but with an embedded footprint. It is a runtime, control plane, and framework for building, orchestrating and managing containerized embedded systems. Transform monolithic embedded Linux systems into modular, easily updated systems that allow you to run and control systems and apps in containers in the userland.

With a containerized embedded system, product makers can implement state-of-the-art DevOps workflows and leverage many open source tools that help automate deployments. Also, with a modular and more easily updated system, product makers and CSPs gain the benefits of agility, portability, and better security for IoT fleets.

Two different runtime modes: engine and system

Both runtime modes of Pantavisor containerize and modularize a monolithic system, making it simpler to update, secure and maintain. They both enable operators and product makers to implement modern software technologies and methodologies that can get products to market quicker and allow for more frequent updates. Pantavisor engine can also run updates and apps in memory without writing to the NOR or Flash.

Deliver new services through your own app store

Operators can manage a software catalog that fully integrates with an OSS or BSS dashboard. With Pantavisor engine, you can containerize 3rd party and custom-developed applications and deliver them to your subscribers with a click-and-buy app store experience.

pantavisor-engine-CSPs

The following containerized apps and services can be offered through an app store to subscribers today:

  • Gryphon
    Apply IP filtering and other tools to limit and control access to content streamed in the household.
  • ProtonVPN
    Secure your network and get ad-free browsing over an encrypted internet connection.
  • Tailscale
    Secure your home network and get access to it from anywhere with this zero config VPN.
  • Assia
    Maximize and optimize the performance and quality of experience for internet subscribers.
  • SamKnows
    Ensure subscriber networks meet performance standards with diagnostic and monitoring applications.

Pantavisor System for device and equipment manufacturers

Device and equipment manufacturers can leverage Pantavisor System with a modern stack from the get go. OEMs can seamlessly offer automated updates and security patches as well as options for expanding services and applications to CSPs with little overhead.

Pantavisor-System

Features and benefits gained by service providers and device manufacturers

Operators and product makers gain the following features and benefits when it comes to subscriber and equipment maintenance:

Service Provider – Pantavisor Engine Device Manufacturer – Pantavisor System
Expand product model and deliver new services on-demand

CPE in homes today are difficult to update without the infrastructure in place to offer new and innovative services.
  • Deliver new and 3rd party containerized services to existing CPE.
  • Update and secure devices while modernizing your infrastructure.
  • Built-in device support for Service providers with Pantavisor system.
  • Update firmware and software without having to re-flash the entire device.
Continuously update and secure firmware and apps

Updating firmware in the field today can be a long complicated process, and if there are problems with the deployment, can result in a bricked device. An unresponsive device may require an expensive technician’s visit.
  • Safe remote updates and with its ability to rollback and forward to a good state, devices are never bricked.
  • Deploy patches and updates to firmware and software whenever they needed and without interrupting service.
  • Roll back and roll forward to a good state in the case of a bad deployment.
Meet compliance and other regulations
To meet WiFi speed compliance for example, it is often necessary to use an external third party application that temporarily run on the device.
  • Install and uninstall diagnostic 3rd party apps on-demand using modern container technology.
  • Install and uninstall diagnostic 3rd party apps on-demand using modern container technology.
Maintain legacy applications while modernizing infrastructure

Most providers need to maintain legacy apps alongside a more modern app. They can’t risk bricking the device or dropping a mission critical app and replacing it with something new. Instead, operators need a way to phase in a technology while maintaining the old one.
  • Maintain legacy applications.
  • Phase out older technology, while modernizing software stacks on CPE.
  • Modern system from the beginning enables clean separation of applications and firmware.
  • Update, phase out or replace applications and firmware with zero subscriber downtime.

The Evolution of Home Automation and IoT

Pantavisor engine provides the ability to deliver new services and applications to routers and other CPE that currently sit in homes and business. Offer more than standard internet, TV and phone packages with an open bundle and deliver innovative 3rd party applications and services to home and business subscribers through a custom-branded app store.

Pantavisor System enables OEMs to build a modern and open source stack that more easily maintained, updated and extended.

Find out more in our Solution brochures:

About Pantacor and Pantavisor

Pantacor and Pantavisor’s open-source technology empowers operators to rapidly deploy new services, applications, and updates to existing CPEs. Transform a single-purpose device into a multifunctional one that is efficiently managed and maintained, and adds immediate value. Rapidly deliver new and innovative services such as network segmentation for guest access and parental controls, digital WiFi security, network diagnostics, and wifi optimization services.

Contact us for more information on how to accelerate IoT deployments at Pantacor.com/contact.

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