Service providers are experiencing unprecedented growth in demand for mobile broadband and mobile internet. As the service providers are gearing up to monetize this increase in the demand for mobile data, they have a huge challenge to face ahead of them. The data handling capacity of existing mobile networks is giving sleepless nights to many operators and is seen as a big hurdle to encashing this demand growth in mobile data.
The exciting part is that service providers already have options available to overcome this barrier. The solutions include offloading data to either small cells or Wi-Fi networks. However, due to CAPEX and OPEX involved in deployment of small cells, it is not an attractive choice for operators to adopt.
Wi-Fi has several advantages over small cells. Wi-Fi, these days, is ubiquitously available in all smart devices. Wi-Fi networks operate in unlicensed spectrum and can be deployed quickly. The cost involved in deploying Wi-Fi networks is quite less compared to deployment of small cells. Hence, Wi-Fi is a popular technology with the operators.
The matter of concern now for service providers now is integration of Wi-Fi networks with the existing mobile networks. Various consortiums, including Wi-Fi alliance, Wireless Broadband Alliance, are working to develop standards that allow interoperability and wide spread access. The integration needs to be such that it is a seamless experience for the end-user with no human intervention needed when user moves from a mobile network to a Wi-Fi network and vice-versa. Wi-Fi networks need to incorporate mechanisms similar to cellular authentication and roaming for making whole experience seamless to the end-user. HotSpot2.0 standard spearheaded by the Wi-Fi alliance does just that.
Aricent’s WLAN Switching Solution (WSS) for Wi-Fi Access Point (AP) and Access Controller (AC), complaint with HotSpot 2.0 and CAPWAP standards, along with SaMOG implementation helps operators incorporate Wi-Fi Mobile Data Offloading to existing mobile networks.
For more insights on Carrier Wi-Fi and Mobile Data Offloading, attend our webinar on topic ‘Wild about Wi-Fi’ on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 8:00 AM PT / 11:00 AM ET.