New Broadband Forum TR-398 standard for WiFi network quality measurement

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4 October, 2019 - The quality of WiFi networks is one of the keys to the satisfaction of users of communications networks. In general, it is the weakest link and the one that causes the most problems, as users always blame their problems on poor WiFi.

Our company has been a pioneer in the Spanish market in measuring the quality of WiFis through the use of instrumentation and test protocols appropriate to each scenario. In this way, these networks can be certified with the guarantee that their performance is assured.

Until now, the performance measurements of WiFis have not been standardised, which has led to manufacturers defining and performing their own tests. This phenomenon has caused confusion for users buying the products, as it is not easy to compare them. With the release of the Broadband Forum's WiFi performance measurement standard in February this year, things are about to change. With the TR-398 WiFi In-Premises Performance Testing standard, we now have some reference protocols that will allow us to compare WiFi equipment with more criteria. A copy can be found here.

This association is a non-governmental organisation dedicated to the specification of high bandwidth networks. Among the standards it has developed are PON, VDSL, DSL or Gfast and its partners are telecommunications operators, equipment manufacturers, consultants and independent laboratories. Its steering committee includes BT, AT&T, Ericsson, Nokia, ARRIS, Calix, Intel, Deutsche Telekom, Telecom Italia, InCoax, Huawei, Chunghwa Telecom, China Telecom and China Mobile. As the largest telecommunications companies are involved in their activity, their influence in the sector is very large. This is why this new standard for WiFi quality measurement will be, from now on, very relevant.

A table with a summary of TR-398 tests is included below:


As can be seen, this standard defines a "pass" or "fail" for each of them. However, with the measurements obtained, we can also compare how good or bad the tested devices are.

As defined, most of them are easily met by WiFi 5 (ac Wave2) or the new WiFi 6 (ax) APs. However, some of them, such as Airtime Fairness, Downlink MU-MIMO Performance or AP Coexistence, may cause some surprises.

An interference-free radio environment is required for these tests, so the use of anechoic chambers is recommended:


At the end of the measures a certificate is issued by Aplicaziones with the results obtained.

It is also possible to execute part of these protocols to study specific device behaviour. This makes it possible to build simpler test benches, even at the customer's premises, to certify that the WiFi networks installed comply with the SLAs committed to in the projects. See our article on capacity measurements in WiFi networks.

For this type of measurements our company uses the instrumentation of Candela Technologies, partner of the Broadband Forum and with whom we have had a distribution agreement for the Iberian market for more than 7 years. Here you can see a good summary of their solutions.

For more information, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or here.