As UK households are plunged into lockdown again this winter, the need for a fast, secure, reliable broadband connection for home working and learning has never been more important. As of this week, our UK customers are able to boost their WiFi service and improve in-home connectivity thanks to the newly launched Intelligent WiFi Plus service with WiFi Pods from Virgin Media. This launch is the first step in rolling out Intelligent WiFi software and WiFi Pods by Liberty Global across Europe.
The Intelligent WiFi Plus service combines new, automatically updated software on Virgin’s modems with the new Intelligent WiFi Pods. The customer’s modem and Pods seamlessly work together as a so-called ‘wireless mesh network’ within their home boosting WiFi reach, speed and reliability and optimising broadband connectivity. The Pods plug in to any power outlet in the home and automatically switch to the best WiFi frequency, using clever software to choose the fastest WiFi point for each device in the home adapting to each customer’s individual needs.
When customers sign up for Virgin’s new Intelligent WiFi Plus service, a WiFi Pod will be shipped to their home. These Pods are already configured to link with a Virgin Media modem and don’t require an engineer visit – so it’s easy for customers to get started, and get rid of any WiFi blackspots in their home. The modem and the WiFi Pods use the cloud to learn 24/7 about which wireless devices are connected, as well as where and when the customer uses them, and constantly adapt to create the best conditions for the customer’s wireless network. For instance, the modem and WiFi Pods will change their wireless settings automatically if that helps reduce overlaps with nearby networks. At last, an easy way to deal with interference from your neighbours’ WiFi!
The modem and WiFi Pods can be managed via the mobile Connect App, which is continually upgraded with new functionality and acts as a control panel for all Intelligent WiFi Plus features. Through the App customers can use a feature called Home Scan to test the strength of their WiFi in each room, manage and pause devices connected to the network, create a separate guest network and provide visitors access to their WiFi network with the touch of a button. Last but not least the WiFi Pods help us as a connectivity provider, by constantly monitoring connectivity and providing insights about performance and connected devices. This data is managed via Liberty’s connectivity platform called the Connect Cloud and makes it much easier for customer service staff to help when customers call in with issues or questions about their WiFi.
The Intelligent WiFi software and the WiFi Pods are co-developed with Plume, in which Liberty Global has been an investor since 2014 through our investment arm Liberty Global Ventures. We’re proud to be part of Plume’s growth and success story – by investing, but also by using their innovation in our products and services. After this initial launch in the UK, Liberty Global is looking to expand the Plume-powered Intelligent WiFi service and Pods to other markets in Europe.
With more people working and learning from home due to Covid-19, these innovative WiFi solutions are important in delighting our customers with clever, reliable connectivity – and in delivering on our ambition of being the leading provider of next-generation internet via our Gigabit networks.
Technology, great teamwork and focus on customer satisfaction allow us to continually bring new means of improving our customers’ lives. This new WiFi innovation is a good example, and a great way to start 2021 despite the ongoing challenges the pandemic throws at us. It is also testament to the hard work and dedication of Liberty’s Technology & Innovation team, our local colleagues in the UK and other countries, and the folks at Plume!