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Commercial Wi-FiR Comes of Age as Operators Trial New Deployment Strategies

by david.nunes


Broadband Providers Worldwide Create New Commercial Wi-Fi Models Based on Stoke’s Wi-Fi eXchange™ Mobile Edge Gateway

SANTA CLARA, CA – January 23, 2013: Stoke’s newly-available Wi-Fi eXchange™ gateway is engaged in multiple commercial service trials uncovering new ways for telecommunications operators to incorporate Wi-Fi® as a revenue-supporting service. In a single unit, Wi-Fi eXchange introduces a broad set of extremely flexible Wi-Fi management capabilities previously unavailable to mobile broadband carriers, allowing them to create and test innovative, revenue-supporting services.

“Operators are exploring ways to enhance their return on investment by incorporating secure and seamless Wi-Fi into well-crafted business strategies,” said Edgar Figueroa, president and CEO of Wi-Fi Alliance®.  “Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Passpoint™ addresses numerous opportunities to deliver a seamless and secure Wi-Fi experience, and our members continue to build on that foundation. The options now being explored by service providers in conjunction with companies like Stoke demonstrate terrific momentum towards pervasive Wi-Fi from service operators.”

Wi-Fi Alliance has been instrumental in driving the evolution of Wi-Fi strategies, providing a forum for Wi-Fi operators, equipment providers and hardware manufacturers to develop industry-wide standards and programs which are critical to mass market adoption.  The Passpoint certification program, launched in June 2012, has already seen significant industry adoption.

Broadband carriers’ strategies vary widely according to the specific drivers and objectives of each organization. Until now, for want of widely applicable, carrier-grade Wi-Fi technology solutions, operators have been forced either to cobble together compromise solutions or to delay implementation. Since announcing commercial availability in November, 2012, Stoke’s Wi-Fi eXchange has been in high demand with wholesale Wi-Fi, fixed line and cellular operators for trials leveraging the platform’s ability to leapfrog previous technology challenges.

Wi-Fi eXchange offers an extensive feature set, including multi-vendor core and radio equipment interoperability, broad network topology support, and carrier-grade performance.

“Stoke’s benefit to operators in these use cases is in delivering flexibility and efficiency in operations for both access and core networks.  For example, Operators can terminate both Layer 2 and Layer 3 connected Wi-Fi access networks, as well as access points from different manufacturers, on Wi-Fi eXchange where they needed several gateways before,” explained John Carvalho, VP Wireless Architecture at Stoke.

“In addition, on the core side Wi-Fi eXchange enables operators to selectively apply GGSN-based business processes to Wi-Fi subscriber sessions while the rest is directed – at least cost – to the Internet. For example we’re demonstrating how an operator can use Wi-Fi to recapture roaming revenues lost to Wi-Fi ISPs, without requiring major disruptions to the mobile core infrastructure,” added Carvalho. “We are extremely pleased with the performance of the Wi-Fi eXchange in widely differing scenarios.”

Commercial Wi-Fi Use Cases

Wholesale Wi-Fi Offload Services: A large national operator with a massive fixed line network is testing the Wi-Fi eXchange as a pivotal element in extending their broadband service to leverage the speed and availability of Wi-Fi.  The completed trial explored ways of providing Wi-Fi access to the operator’s DSL subscribers, and on interconnecting to multiple mobile operator core networks for delivering Wi-Fi Offload services to cellular providers.

Roaming Revenue Recovery: A cellular carrier that has been losing roaming revenues to discrete location Wi-Fi hotspots is seeking to recapture that revenue by providing a carrier-grade Wi-Fi alternative for subscribers.  Leveraging the traffic re-direction, session management and interworking capabilities of the Wi-Fi eXchange, the operator is testing ways of offering a fee-based Wi-Fi alternative that is integrated with its current Authentication and Authorization scheme and international roaming agreement functions.

Optimizing Wi-Fi Network Operations: This operator, part of a regional network, has built an innovative Wi-Fi business model, excellent brand recognition and demand outstripping original expectations through its ability to deliver a resilient Wi-Fi network for the mobile public. Stoke is engaged in their effort to reduce costs and streamline operations by collapsing functionality housed in multiple network elements (gateways, routers, portals) into a single multi-function gateway.

About Stoke, Inc.

Stoke provides market-proven mobile gateway solutions to the broadband network industry. Our products have been chosen by Tier 1 mobile network operators for technical excellence and high quality manufacturing and we partner with leading industry equipment providers and systems integrators to provide key elements of their solutions. Stoke is the industry leader in deployed LTE security gateways and offers extensive commercial experience developing, deploying and maintaining LTE security gateway equipment in a top tier LTE network. Stoke products and solutions, based on the innovative SSX platform, provide a strong business value to network operators.  For more information, visit www.stoke.com.

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