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Author Topic: ASA say BT's most powerful signal ad misleading  (Read 672 times)

renluop

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ASA say BT's most powerful signal ad misleading
« on: June 14, 2017, 05:54:21 PM »

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broadstairs

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Re: ASA say BT's most powerful signal ad misleading
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2017, 08:07:32 PM »

I think the issue with this and much other advertising is not that the specifics cannot be proven, many probably can, bu the fact that it in my view deliberately tries to con the ordinary end user into thinking that everyone irrespective of their situation will achieve what is advertised. It is in my view completely unacceptable for any company to advertise in this way, they should be forced into being realistic about real world expectations. It is not just BT, although this advert is laughable if you have a modicum of knowledge, but many other tech companies who just try to con people.

Stuart
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Chrysalis

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Re: ASA say BT's most powerful signal ad misleading
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2017, 07:44:36 AM »

yeah they all guilty of this, VM seems to be the worst culprit.

The problem with what the ASA are doing tho is that they effectively allowing them to run these type of adverts, because the CPs know it will take time for a complaint to go in, then for an investigation before finally been told to take the advert down, by then the advert has done its job. There is no fine's, just a prod to say take the advert down.
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Ignitionnet

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Re: ASA say BT's most powerful signal ad misleading
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2017, 11:52:27 PM »

Anyone actually read the ASA's adjudication? The issue appeared to be with not mentioning that the comparison was only against the 'big boys', nothing to do with testing methodology.

Quote
BT said it additionally tested the kit in 10 homes of "differing construction types," before concluding that the lab results reflected those found in real homes. It added that the claims only related to the "capabilities of the router" and not to the "overall broadband speed." In other words, the Wi-Fi signal was tested independently of the network.

The ASA found BT's thorough testing of its Wi-Fi signal to be sufficient, but the telecoms giant had failed to make it clear to consumers that the evidence it provided related only to major broadband competitors and not the whole market

Fining advertisers is probably not the way to go unless the issue is really extreme.
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: ASA say BT's most powerful signal ad misleading
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2017, 12:11:30 AM »

I find it somewhat surprising that seemingly educated people even entertain the idea that a router with a 'powerful WiFi' would be beneficial.  Isn't it obvious to everybody that WiFi is a two way communication?   

What would be the point of your laptop/tablet/whatever being able to pick up your high powered router at long distance, unless the tablet etc was similarly high powered, in order to transmit back again? ???

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burakkucat

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Re: ASA say BT's most powerful signal ad misleading
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2017, 01:12:11 AM »

What would be the point of your laptop/tablet/whatever being able to pick up your high powered router at long distance, unless the tablet etc was similarly high powered, in order to transmit back again? ???

It is surprising how often that fact is completely overlooked.  ::)
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Ignitionnet

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Re: ASA say BT's most powerful signal ad misleading
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2017, 01:12:04 PM »

I find it somewhat surprising that seemingly educated people even entertain the idea that the characteristics of every router are the same in terms of signal processing, noise rejection, gain applied to received signals, etc, when the evidence of tests carried out where the only variable changing is the router / access point clearly disproves this.
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: ASA say BT's most powerful signal ad misleading
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2017, 03:35:14 PM »

I find it somewhat surprising that seemingly educated people even entertain the idea that the characteristics of every router are the same in terms of signal processing, noise rejection, gain applied to received signals, etc, when the evidence of tests carried out where the only variable changing is the router / access point clearly disproves this.

There are many things that might make one router superior to another, such as CPU processing power, line interface characteristics, ethernet performance, and antenna characteristics, etc etc.   I was simply making the point that simply increasing the WiFi signal output power is highly unlikely to be beneficial, unless there were also a way of increasing the output power of the client device.  As far as I understand from Renluop's  link, that was what was being suggested by the  BT advert - that it had a 'powerful signal', and implying that the 'powerful signal' increased the operating range of clients.  But I have not seen the advert, so apols if that is incorrect.

One exception might be two wireless APs forming a link between (say) two buildings - in that case if both APs were higher powered, it might make a difference?
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licquorice

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Re: ASA say BT's most powerful signal ad misleading
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2017, 04:11:24 PM »

They haven't increased the output power, the maximum output is governed by law, all they can do is improve aerial design.
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: ASA say BT's most powerful signal ad misleading
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2017, 04:48:53 PM »

They haven't increased the output power, the maximum output is governed by law, all they can do is improve aerial design.

So far as I recall from the days I ever knew anything about antenna design, there was generally a trade off between directionality and gain.   To improve the gain, you'd employ a directional antenna and that would improve both transmit and receive, but you then had to point it in just the right direction - which is not usually what's wanted for home WiFi.  With that in mind, the advertisement appears to me to show a rather dubious aerial design, radiating much of its power (or is it energy?) directly upwards and towards the sky, where there would not be many clients.  Users in other locations, like the other side of the house, or bottom of the garden, would then be deprived of that power.

Or maybe the skyward radiation is unavoidable, not sure - anybody out there confirm or deny that?   And maybe it's time for me to stop nitpicking.   :D
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WWWombat

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Re: ASA say BT's most powerful signal ad misleading
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2017, 05:04:58 PM »

(Slightly late answer ... I wrote this much earlier today)

I find it somewhat surprising that seemingly educated people even entertain the idea that a router with a 'powerful WiFi' would be beneficial.  Isn't it obvious to everybody that WiFi is a two way communication?   

What would be the point of your laptop/tablet/whatever being able to pick up your high powered router at long distance, unless the tablet etc was similarly high powered, in order to transmit back again? ???

It isn't as simple as that, though there is a balance required between the transmission side and the reception side.

Power is one feature for the transmission side. Sensitivity, and the ability to identify signal from noise, is a feature of the reception side. My direct experience comes from the GSM world, and I can say that there was always work going on to improve the reception side too. Frequency hopping and receiver diversity were such tools - primitive by today's standards.

In fact, high transmit power can be your enemy - particularly in a world where you have to share with other transmitters. Keeping the power down, but improving the performance of your receiver, is a *much* better solution. In WiFi, your neighbours will thank you if you turn your transmission down to be just enough to cover your home, but not theirs; you gain if they respond by turning their ower down. Win-win.

I imagine that the better DSP-driven NxN MIMO setups that we see nowadays are one response to improving receiver sensitivity in WiFi. 5G seems to get labelled with "massive MIMO", so we can expect better in future.

Beamforming - the act of using multiple antenna to pick out a target spatially - works in the transmit directions by ensuring in-phase transmissions arrive at the target. For the opposite direction, using powerful DSPs allows signals from multiple antenna to combine the "in-phase peaks" intelligently.

Looking at some data tables, it appears that better MIMO setups achieve better range and speed because of the improvements on the reception side, and keep those improvements at lower transmit powers.

(Adding in response to later posts: The MIMO improvement isn't really from improving gain via directionality; it is really from the improvement that you get in the smartness of the DSPs that drive the different antenna).

So ... where does that take us with advertising?

Unfortunately, the target for advertisers won't understand anything about sensitivity and spatial improvements from multiple antenna, and DSPs, but they do understand the concept behind "more powerful". For best WiFi performance, they probably need to buy the hardware that comes equipped with the best NxN MIMO antenna setup attached to the best DSP hardware, running the best algorithm. But the marketers can only really sell "more powerful".

But, as technical people, we should't hear the words "more powerful" and read it as meaning just higher transmit power. Maybe we just understand it as "more powerful DSPs".

Marketing is the ultimate "dumbing down".

There's a Cisco presentation on their WiFi available here:
Understanding RF Fundamentals and the Radio Design of Wireless Networks

It is interesting in general, but the features appropriate here are in pages 45-55.
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renluop

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Re: ASA say BT's most powerful signal ad misleading
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2017, 08:06:50 PM »


So ... where does that take us with advertising?

Unfortunately, the target for advertisers won't understand anything about sensitivity and spatial improvements from multiple antenna, and DSPs, but they do understand the concept behind "more powerful".
This is a little OT, but in DT was a piece about broadband speeds in London, that some were below average. This bear of little technical brain is wondering, where they are seeking that miracle that will prevent any connection being below average. I thought DT writers were intelligent too. How are they to understand anything more than they don't now?
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