Nokia Siemens, Ericsson Look to Ease WiFi Offloading of Mobile Traffic
For its part, Ericsson unveiled a range of WiFi network access, control and management solutions that are compliant with 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project) standards. The real-time traffic steering technology automatically selects the best connection for the mobile device by assessing information on both the broadband and WiFi networks and then dynamically and seamlessly shifts the connection to the best option. Ericsson began moving in this direction in February 2012 when it bought BelAir Networks, which gave the company carrier-grade WiFi capabilities. In addition, Ericsson’s technology supports access selection, a feature of self-optimizing networks (SONs) that enables load balancing between WiFi and 3GPP networks. Ericsson also is dealing with the thorny issue of indoor connectivity by developing an 802.11ac access point to enable mobile operators to deliver supplemental or stand-alone indoor WiFi coverage. In addition, the company introduced two new cloud-controller options that make it easier for carriers to add WiFi to their portfolio of mobile services.“Heterogeneous network strategies among leading mobile operators are focused on delivering a great mobile broadband experience to their customers, wherever they are,” Thomas Noren, vice president and head of product area radio at Ericsson, said in a statement. “By coordinating licensed small cells with the macro cell … and intelligently integrating WiFi and 3GPP throughout the network, we’re providing operators with the most effective way to deliver consistently high-performance consumer connections.” The traffic steering solutions from both Nokia Siemens and Ericsson complement such standards as Access Network Discovery and Selection Function (ANDSF), which includes policies around user profiles, location and timing.
The company is bringing integrated management of WiFi and 3GPP networks to a common platform, a move that officials said will simplify operations and reduce network costs.