Only a polar bear could appreciate a seal of excellence more than we do.

After a meticulous evaluation, Veego received the European Commission Horizon 2020 project’s Seal of Excellence. Veego was carefully examined by an international panel of independent experts who assessed the company’s ability to make a significant impact on escalating home Internet use in the era of CoronaVirus. To win this highly competitive award, Veego passed three stringent assessment thresholds: excellence, impact, and quality and efficiency of implementation.

How did we win this award? Here is some background.

Internet usage has increased significantly over the last three months due to social distancing and isolation at home. School children and working parents increasingly use distance learning, video conferencing and other Internet-enabled services to conduct their daily business. Veego Labs, the in-house research arm of the company, found that the number of devices participating in live Internet services has increased 2.5 times while each device is spending much more time consuming those services. In fact, since the Corona pandemic began and until the end of April, total Internet consumption time per home has more than tripled during a typical 24-hour period.

Along with increased usage, Veego Labs has uniquely been able to quantify trends in the problems that users are encountering. 

With data drawn from two European countries and Israel, Veego Labs compared user-experience trends from just before these countries entered into wide-scale lockdowns with usage data generated through April. Along with the spike in Internet usage, the researchers noted a surge in user-experience problems such as unacceptable lags in gaming, freezing of screens during video conferencing, and slow loading of movies. The main reasons behind these problems include network congestion—reduced quality of service that occurs when a network node is called on to carry more data than it can handle—and latency higher than 100 milliseconds, especially noticeable by gamers and users of other low-latency applications. Also, there was a spike in cloud service crashes such as Microsoft Xbox Live, that simultaneously took down thousands of users unexpectedly. Streaming companies, like Netflix, had to engineer technology that maintained the quality of their service while streaming at lower densities so as to conserve bandwidth.

Veego technology classifies and monitors every service (streaming, gaming, video conferencing, browsing, etc.) used by each connected device in the home and assigns it a real-time Quality of Experience (QoE) score. When the context-appropriate score—each type of service has its own requirements that determine QoE—falls below a certain threshold, Veego automatically detects the underlying problem, pinpoints its location and identifies its root cause. Real-time performance, event and QoE data are collected in the Veego Cloud for deep analysis.

Among the many problems that Veego identified, three stood out in terms of increase in frequency: 

  • WiFi neighbor interference (52% increase) caused bad streaming and gaming experiences.  The increase was due to overlapping times of Internet usage between households in close proximity. 
  • Intermittent connectivity failures (42% increase) were responsible for slow downloads and other annoying conditions. Connectivity failures occurred primarily because people in Corona-induced isolation within the home are trying to reach their Internet router from remote rooms where they haven’t used connected devices before. Sometimes, these rooms do not receive a good, consistent WiFi signal. About a quarter of the connectivity failures were due to bad WiFi link quality caused by improper configuration of extenders.
  • Increased access point saturation (28%) due to the unusual load on the home router as adults working from home engage in video conferencing while one child is watching Netflix and another is playing Fortnite in the other room. 

While not fully quantified at this time, Veego Labs research also noted that some legacy connected devices are having a noticeable, deleterious effect on home networks. For example, to accommodate distance learning, dormant laptops have been resurrected for the kids and these often use outdated protocols that affect the general home connectivity experience. ISPs would do well to recognize these devices and recommend more efficient replacements to their subscribers. With Veego, they have the data to identify these devices and to quantify their effect on user experience throughout the home. 

Ice Floes

The Horizon 2020 project noted Veego’s significant contribution to ISPs in the CoronaVirus era and saw fit to bestow its Seal of Excellence on the company. 

Polar bears beware!

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