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Jun 18 2013

Why you need to think ‘traffic steering’, not ‘traffic offloading’

This blog is by Jaakko Huuhtanen at Nokia Siemens Networks. Twitter: @NokiaSiemensNet

What do exploding black holes and Wi-Fi have in common? The answer is an Australian engineer, Dr John O’Sullivan. The story goes that while researching ways to detect short-lived cosmological events using radio astronomy, Dr O’Sullivan led a team to develop and then in the 1990s patent a crucial part of wireless LAN technology.

Since then, Wi-Fi has gone from strength to strength, is used daily by billions of people and is found as standard in nearly all mobile devices. Today, Wi-Fi is poised to become a vital access layer within mobile networks. Without it, the capacity of 3G or even 4G network deployments is unlikely to keep pace with the explosive rate of growth in network traffic.

As part of a Heterogeneous Network (HetNet), Wi-Fi can relieve the pressure on the cellular network, offer faster data connections and better indoor coverage.

Increasingly, many operators are seeking ways to balance data traffic between mobile networks and Wi-Fi access in a way that’s transparent to users and reduces mobile network congestion. The key to success is not simply offloading traffic from the cellular network onto Wi-Fi, but to steer traffic in a managed way between the two technologies to always deliver the best customer experience. Operators can benefit by using their existing packet core network for harmonized traffic handling across 3G/LTE and Wi-Fi accesses.

A new White paper from Nokia Siemens Networks examines these issues. It gives details of Nokia Siemens Networks Smart Wi-Fi solution: a standards-based Wi-Fi integration solution that turns Wi-Fi networks into seamless extensions of the mobile network.

Click here for a copy of the White Paper.