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Dated: Jul. 11, 2013

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Networking In General
WIFI Wireless

We mentioned that today smartphones and tablets are becoming the dominant devices for Internet access. Research shows that users of smartphone devices for Internet access prefer WiFi, regardless of the quality and availability of 3G/4G networks. Thus, users are increasingly turning to Wi-Fi access as an alternative to 3G access. 36% of Internet traffic today is carried out via WiFi. 

By the year of 2015, that percentage will be 46% of the total mobile network traffic. Data drawn from the research show that 58% of users of Apple iPhone and Android phones in 2011 accessed the Internet via WiFi, while the percentage in 2010 was 33%.

According to a recent survey from Nielsen, in the UK at the end of 2012 78% of Android phone owners used WiFi for Internet access. WiFi in some way becomes a natural "extension" of advanced 3G/4G mobile network, especially if in the circumstances customers can be provided with satisfactory quality.

The biggest challenge for operators is creating the opportunity for the transfer (handover) between WiFi and 3G networks and user authentication. 3G smart phones with WiFi interface supporting identification based on the SIM card, which allows you to switch from 3G to WiFi networks in the area of ​​WiFi access points. The key to the implementation of WiFi offload is automatically switching from 3G to WiFi in hotspot zone (network identification, authentication, username). It is now possible with the use of so-called EAP SIM authentication techniques.WiFi offload

Users looking for WiFi connectivity seek it everywhere, not just in their homes. However, due to the previously described "problems" of operators, is the day close when WiFi access will no longer be free? However, operators should be used effectively and efficiently and provide WiFi connectivity to its customers as an added value. There are several ways to use WiFi. Existing fixed broadband service can be via WiFi interface to provide users with mobile devices as an extra service for free or for a fee, depending on the operator's strategy. To avoid congestion in the 3G network, you can enable offload traffic from 3G network to a WiFi network. Many large operators, among 2G/3G/4G mobile networks have their own WiFi network. It is now an essential part of their mobile strategy. Some used it to offload external WiFi network operators.

According to the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA), in the present world there are about 1.3 million WiFi hotspots, and it is predicted that there will be about 5.8 million users by 2015. Users will certainly be delighted the ubiquity of WiFi. future WBA survey of 259 of operators said that only 47% of operators believe that the WiFi is an indispensable part of their future mobile broadband strategy and it is necessary to improve the user experience and quality delivery of new mobile services. Among the "fan operators" of WiFi access are Japanese KDDI (planned network of 100,000 hotspots s), China Telecom (this hotspot million at the end of 2012.), AT & T in the U.S. (with 27,000 hotspots in the cafes, restaurants, hotels).

The British mobile operator O2 intends to install about 15,000 hotspots in 2013, Deutsche Telekom (DT) currently has a network of 12,000 of WiFi hotspots in German cities. Earlier this year, they signed with a global WiFi service provider, the company Fon, a contract for the installation of 2.5 million WiFi hotspots, not only in Germany but also in countries where there are subsidiaries of DT.

On the other hand, the U.S. telecom giant Verizon Wireless has its own hotspots only in stadiums, concert halls, and sports halls and uses them to supplement the capacity of 3G/4G networks to solve the problem when thousands of people simultaneously are using data networks, which can, in principle, happen several times a week.

Today WiFi offload is a good option to offload data traffic in mobile networks, especially for residential and public indoor locations. However, in the future, expanding 4G/LTE technology, the use of small cells (pico, femto) will be important to increase capacity, particularly outside the building (outdoor) in densely populated areas. However, when it comes to data traffic, operators must find a balance between profit, retention and investment in its mobile network. The existence of a public WiFi network or hotspots at some busy places indirectly helps mobile operators to offload the traffic, and that we would eventually be clear - there was word of a systematic approach to mobile operators and use WiFi technology as a "lock" for the growing data traffic in the mobile network.

M.B.

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