Game on: Why next-gen wireless networks are the MVP of gaming


True or false: All cord-cutters care about is streaming their favorite shows on Netflix, Hulu and other video on demand platforms.

The answer is FALSE.

Cord-cutters aren’t just binge-watching shows, they are spending hours of downtime gaming. From FIFA to Madden and Minecraft to Fortnite, gaming is hotter than ever. Nearly 70% of Americans are proud gamers and in 2017, the industry generated more revenue than music, movies or TV. And more changes are coming with the rollouts of new cloud gaming services from Google (Stadia), Apple (Arcade) and a host of Virtual Reality (VR) applications.

The explosive gaming boom has big implications for wireless networks on multifamily housing properties. Owners can no longer get by with internet packages that only cater to basic video streaming. The network must also service the growing gaming community.

The gaming experience depends on the quality of the internet. Focus on bandwidth, speed, latency and security and owners will ensure their gaming residents are happy residents. Let’s break it down:

— Bandwidth and speed—gaming can quickly eat up bandwidth, so networks should be engineered with high speeds to support game play. Innovative service providers like Boingo can offer residents gigabit speeds to deliver a seamless experience. That’s crazy fast and can support multiple gaming devices in a single unit considering systems like Xbox and Nintendo Switch only require speeds of 3 Mbps. It also helps streamline large system updates that can suck up bandwidth from other connected devices.

— Latency—this feature is key, especially for fast-paced and multi-player game play as low latency minimizes delay between user action and the screen display. In addition to offering internet with low latency features, owners should look at solutions that can rely on the “edge.” The edge uses the cloud intelligently to power next generation applications like VR and AR with split second latency.

— Security—Network Address Translation (NAT) is an important aspect of firewall security. The type of NAT, security configurations and isolation settings are critical to a successful gaming experience. Partners like Boingo can deliver secure environments, while allowing gamers to thrive.

Gamers will also enjoy apartments that have a one-two punch—Wi-Fi and a hard-wired connection. This gives them everything they need for mobile gaming, as well as multi-player, heavy-bandwidth applications streamed in HD.

In the world of gaming, there can only be one winner. In this case, it’s a fast, dense and secure wireless network.