Nokia Siemens launches offload solution

Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) has launched a WLAN solution that offloads traffic from mobile broadband to Wifi.

The technology aims to alleviate traffic from 3G and 4G networks. NSN predicts that over the next five years, data from laptops using mobile broadband will grow by 1,000%, while data from smart devices is expected to grow by 10,000% in the same period.

Dean Bubley, analyst and founder of Disruptive Analysis, said NSN’s offload method is dependent on an operator’s experience using Wifi in different locations and the device having the right software: “It will need quite a lot of backend software integration and clever thought about how it fits in with service plans. It will work but not straight out of the box.”

NSN has differentiated its technology by giving the mobile operator more control in allowing the smart device to automatically convert to the operator’s Wifi without losing the traffic, claimed the vendor. Phil Twist, head of marketing and corporate affairs for network systems at NSN, said: “This allows the operator to route the traffic back through the network, giving operators complete control over the direction of traffic from the device.”

NSN’s Smart WLAN Connectivity Solution is similar to systems being developed by companies such as IntelliNet and Ruckus, to reduce traffic on 3G and 4G networks. The benefit of using Wifi is that the fixed lines are already in place and have 50 times the capacity of mobile broadband. NSN is still trialling the technology and is in the advanced stages of testing in Europe and Asia. Twist added that those companies who already have some form of Wifi cloud will benefit most.

Bubley thinks that although extending mobile broadband to connect to Wifi will help offload traffic it is not the only solution: “This technology is only one particular flavour of it. Whether offloading traffic onto Wifi, femtocells or small cells, it’s going to be important.”

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