David Sharpley, Bridgewater Systems
01 Jun 2010
And the addition of intelligent policy controls allows operators to apply flexible business rules to offload certain subscribers, devices, or applications to alternate networks.
This enables operators to alleviate the problem of congestion by correlating congested cell sites with subscribers, their service plans, and usage behavior in real time.
Network intelligence plays a key role. Smartphone users do not always have Wi-Fi turned on due to the heavy battery drain on their mobile devices. Moreover, network systems cannot force a device to switch on Wi-Fi, which presents challenges for operators who want to offload traffic to Wi-Fi.
By pushing policies directly to the mobile device, operators can enable WiFi to be switched on when the device is in the vicinity of congested cell sites and alternate WiFi networks are available.
These device policies can also selectively offload subscribers attached to priority congested cell sites, enabling a consistent experience that reflects subscriber entitlements, location, devices, and usage behavior.
Sidebar: Verizon, AT&T and Orange look to Wi-Fi offload
Verizon Wireless launched a new service in December 2009 that allows mobile broadband customers to access thousands of Wi-Fi hotspots at no additional charge and to move easily from the 3G wireless network to those hotspots.
When customers are on Wi-Fi and are ready to move, but want to remain connected, or if they want the added security of the 3G network, they can simply switch back to the 3G network.