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Wi fi hotspots will be small cells in mobile broadband networks by 2015

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Short analysis on Wi-fi role in future networks in terms of industry standards and vendors by Srtategy Analytics

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Wi fi hotspots will be small cells in mobile broadband networks by 2015

  1. 1. STRATEGY ANALYTICS INSIGHTWireless Operator Strategies12 March 2012 WiFi Hotspots will be Small Cells in Mobile Broadband Networks by 2015SnapshotThe last month has seen a dramatic change in the role of WiFi for mobile operators. • On February 15th Alcatel Lucent added WiFi to its lightRadio™ Femtocell and Metrocell systems. • On February 21st. Ericsson announced the acquisition of BelAir Networks to add carrier grade WiFi as an element in its 3GPP compliant heterogeneous networks (HetNets). • On February 23rd. the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) announced the successful completion of Next Generation Hotspot (NGH) trials with eleven operators - AT&T, BT, China Mobile, NTT DoCoMo, Orange, PCCW, Portugal Telecom, Smart Communications, Swisscom, TeliaSonera and True. • On February 28th. at Mobile World Congress Cisco announced the industrys first standards based Small Cell NGH Solution with strong industry support. And PCCW promptly announced its first commercial deployment in Hong Kong.WiFi has transitioned from a useful unlicensed wireless option for ‘offloading’ excess mobile video traffic to anintelligent, managed network where subscribers can roam securely. Over the next few years we expect anincreasing number of operators to embrace WiFi as part of their LTE network deployment strategy; and toincorporate it fully into their 3G and 4G traffic calculations. We expect WiFi to become a fully integrated partof small cell networking and HetNet design by 2015.AnalysisIn a new report "WiFi Offload - Roadmap to Seamless Mobile Interoperability" Strategy Analytics identified sixlevels of WiFi integration requirements and analyses solutions: We expect six key levels over next 3-4 years. 1. WiFi Auto Detection – with IWLAN and ANDSF to the Nearest Hotspot or Registered WLAN 2. Client Authentication with AAA Radius and EAP 3. SIM Authentication with Mobile Network Service Profile 4. Seamless Roam Out i.e. 3G /4G TO WiFi with Operator visibility 5. Seamless Roam Out and Roam In i.e. WiFi back TO 3G/4G - with Signaling Routed to GGSN/Packet Core 6. Seamless Application Session Continuity over Mobile and WiFiUS Headquarters: European Headquarters:199 Wells Avenue, Suite 108, 171 Midsummer Boulevard,Newton Centre, MA 02459 USA Milton Keynes, MK9 1EB. UKTel : 617.614.0700 Fax: 617.614.0799 Tel: +44 1908 423 600 Fax: +44 1908 423 650 © Strategy Analytics 2012
  2. 2. St trategy Analy ytics then ana alyzed how these are being implemen t nted by seven leading ven n ndors: Alcate Lucent, elBe elAir Network ks/Ericsson, Cisco, Greenp C packet, iPass, Kineto and Nokia Siemen Networks. The high level results , nsar summarize in the char below. re ed rt Chart A.-Vend coverage of the Six L C dor e nteroperability. Levels WiFi In Sour Strategy Analytics rceNG offers a fu solution fo levels 1 through 4 and we are now s GH ull or w seeing solutio for levels 5 through 6. onsFFramewor for Matching Op rk perator Choices to Solutio C o onsIn a second rep n port ‘Mobile Operator Choices - WiFi Offload or In nteroperabili ity?’ Strategy Analytics es y stablishescr riteria that can be applied by mobile operators to make strateg choices a d gic about the lev of WiFi integration velth will matc their capa hat ch acity needs, network dep ployment cyc le and busin ness models o over the nex several xtye ears.US Headquarte S ers: Europea Headquarte an ers:19 Wells Aven 99 nue, Suite 108 8, 171 Midssummer Boulevard,Ne ewton Centre MA 02459 USA e, U Milton K Keynes, MK9 1 1EB. UKTe : 617.614.0 el 0700 Fax: 6177.614.0799 Tel: +44 1908 423 60 Fax: +44 1908 423 650 4 00 © Strateg Analytics 20 gy 012
  3. 3. Operator Requirements for WiFi include the need to: 1. Add WiFi Capacity Rapidly to Current 3G Network 2. Add Instant WiFi Turnkey Global Roaming Service 3. Offer Simple Client for IT based Server WiFi Authentication and Monitoring 4. Provide SIM Authentication and Roaming on WiFi 5. Provide SIM Authentication and Fixed Operator WiFi for Mobile Devices 6. Enable Seamless Pre-Standard 3GPP WiFi with Session Control 7. Enable Seamless WiFi Interoperability in Next Generation Networks and LTEThese requirements are then mapped to the detailed solutions analyzed in the first report.Strategy Analytics report also reviews the WiFi solutions that Mobile Operators are currently providingincluding: • Current Vendors • Standards: 3GPP and IEEE and other standards • Degree of Required Infrastructure integration • Risks and issues of chosen approach • Benefits of chosen approach • Associated business models to monetize WiFi in conjunction with mobile services and • Investment approachesImplicationsMobile operators have been deploying public WiFi hotspots for several years to complement mobile coverageand provide extra capacity for mobile broadband data users. Now they can give mobile users an enhancedQuality of Experience (QoE) with bundled data plans that roam automatically over to WiFi as part of theoperator’s branded service. In a few years as LTE is deployed these users will be able to roam back and forthseamlessly; and eventually use bandwidth on both networks simultaneously. WiFi is about to become a seamlessinteroperable element of mobile networking with WiFi hotspots operating as a new type of small cell atdifferent frequencies and with a different protocols as part of a macrocellular HetNet.Forthcoming ReportAs follow-up report on ‘Small Cell and Backhaul Economics’ will be published shortly.Contact InformationTo explore this topic in more detail or to hear how our solutions, subscription services, presentations, andconsulting engagements etc. can support you please contact us www.strategyanalytics.com/solutions.htmlThe author of this Insight, Sue Rudd Director Service Provider Analysis can be reached atsrudd@strategyanalytics.com. Or contact Phil Kendall Director Wireless Operators Strategies can be reachedat PKendall@strategyanalytics.com.US Headquarters: European Headquarters:199 Wells Avenue, Suite 108, 171 Midsummer Boulevard,Newton Centre, MA 02459 USA Milton Keynes, MK9 1EB. UKTel : 617.614.0700 Fax: 617.614.0799 Tel: +44 1908 423 600 Fax: +44 1908 423 650 © Strategy Analytics 2012