Virgin Media has rolled out a Connected Customer Assurance & Protection Service (CCAPS) called Intelligent WiFi Plus. The service uses new features on Virgin Media’s Hub 3 and Hub 4 routers, as well as Plume’s Intelligent WiFi Pods to create a mesh network that boosts WiFi reach, speed and reliability within the home by intelligently optimising and prioritising device connections.
With more people working from home, video calling, gaming online, streaming media and connecting smart devices, many customers have begun experiencing problems with their in-home WiFi. Virgin Media says its new solution will solve the problems they’re encountering and result in in-home speeds that are up to three times faster.
The Intelligent WiFi Pods are powered by Plume’s Consumer Experience Management (CEM) Platform, which combines cloud management, AI technology, and OpenSync open-source software to enable proactive management of a subscriber’s smart home experience. Plume’s algorithms monitor and self-optimise WiFi connectivity to every device in the home to optimise the experience, whatever the application.
Virgin Media’s Intelligent WiFi Plus service is available at no extra cost for Ultimate Oomph and Gig1 customers. Other customers can upgrade to the new service for £5 per month. All customers with Hub 3 or Hub 4 routers will benefit from the new Intelligent WiFi features that Virgin Media is rolling out at no extra cost.
According to Jeff Dodds, Chief Operating Officer at Virgin Media, Intelligent WiFi Plus is the company’s most advanced WiFi offering to date. He says it will help remove broadband blackspots and bring faster and more reliable speeds throughout the home. “Whether our customers are working, streaming, browsing, playing or keeping connected online, the combo of new Hub features and WiFi Pods provides a step change in connectivity that won’t let you down.”
WiFi Pods can be plugged in anywhere the customer wishes and are designed to reduce the impact of neighbouring WiFi networks by automatically changing settings to prevent interference. When the Pods are placed between a strong-signal spot and low-signal spot they automatically build a mesh network to bring faster speeds to more rooms in the house. With each home and each family’s usage being different, the Intelligent WiFi Plus service effectively creates a unique, tailored option for each household.
Via the Connect app, customers can test the strength of the WiFi in each room; manage devices connected to their home network; pause devices (a handy parental control feature); and access in-app customer support to help resolve any issues.
Virgin Media plans to roll-out additional smart home features this year and parent company Liberty Global is looking to expand the service to other European markets in due course. Liberty Global has invested in Plume – which provides high-value Smart Home Services, such as AI-powered cybersecurity, advanced guest access and parental controls, as well as WiFi optimisation – since 2014 through its investment arm Liberty Global Ventures.
Virgin Media’s new Intelligent WiFi Plus service is a big step forward in terms of its CCAPS footprint. There is the potential to expand this offering further and provide other features to its high-end customer. At a £5 per month premium, the service is being offered at the top-end of the price spectrum we have identified, but is still within the envelope of what customers are prepared to pay for this type of service.
Read more about CCAPS in our complimentary report.