Mobile operators: make cellular and Wi-Fi work together #1GBperday$

Nokia Siemens Networks enables advanced Wi-Fi traffic steering capabilities, enhances residential connectivity

Nokia Siemens Networks is enhancing its Smart Wi-Fi solution to provide the industry’s most comprehensive traffic steering capabilities between cellular and Wi-Fi networks. The company is also launching a new 3G Femtocell Access Point for seamless connectivity in residential areas. By enhancing cellular networks with Wi-Fi and residential access points, operators can ensure seamless connectivity and positive customer experience across all networks.

In Mobile World Congress 2013, Nokia Siemens Networks launched its Smart Wi-Fi and is now extending the solution with two key components: Wi-Fi Service Manager and Wi-Fi Activation Manager. With these tools, operators have access to real-time information about their own or partnered Wi-Fi access points. Operators can then enhance customer experience with dynamic traffic steering between cellular and Wi-Fi networks based on real-time network load. The traffic steering capabilities can be complemented with sophisticated ANDSF* rules based on user profile, timing, location and application usage ensuring that mobile operators have necessary tools to start enhancing their networks with Wi-Fi traffic steering today.

According to the 2013 Acquisition & Retention Study Report** from Nokia Siemens Networks, access to operator Wi-Fi has increased by 35% year-on-year with the majority of connections coming from smartphones. Likewise, expectations for high quality are growing, with 47% of respondents believing that operators should offer excellent network quality even if they charge a higher price for it. Extending wireless cellular coverage and capacity with Wi-Fi is necessary to meet the growing demand, improve customer experience and reduce the pressure on licensed spectrum in key hot spots, typically public indoor spaces.

The new Smart Wi-Fi capabilities and its flexible client-server architecture will also boost early implementation of ANDSF by bringing ANDSF software support on existing smartphones and devices. The new capabilities also support IT-based HotSpot 2.0 ANQP***, which will enable devices to select the optimal Wi-Fi access point for best mobile broadband quality when the operator decides to steer subscribers to Wi-Fi.

“Offloading traffic to Wi-Fi is only the first step to help mobile operators handle traffic congestion. With the new traffic steering capabilities, we go beyond offloading to steer traffic flexibly onto the most appropriate radio network, according to the operator’s strategy and actual network conditions,” said Randy Cox, head of small cells product management at Nokia Siemens Networks. “By using Wi-Fi networks in indoor locations, operators can deliver superior customer experience and cost effectively boost network performance for the subscriber by up to seven-fold.”

To further enhance its end-to-end femtocell portfolio, Nokia Siemens Networks is launching the new FAPr-hsp 5120 Femtocell Access Point (FAP) to improve indoor 3G mobile broadband coverage for residential users. This HSPA+ capable access point connects to an operator-deployed Nokia Siemens Networks Femtocell Gateway via the user’s broadband link such as a DSL or cable connection. Smaller and more powerful than earlier units, the FAP fits through a mail slot for easy postal delivery and is simple for consumers to install.

As well as improving voice coverage and throughput and securing in-home 3G data mobile reception, the FAP expands location and presence awareness and given the better signal, improves the battery life for smartphones. This is an increasingly important benefit as two out of three people in mature markets are active users of advanced services, which typically require greater battery power.

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About Nokia Siemens Networks

Nokia Siemens Networks is the world’s specialist in mobile broadband. From the first ever call on GSM, to the first call on LTE, we operate at the forefront of each generation of mobile technology. Our global experts invent the new capabilities our customers need in their networks. We provide the world’s most efficient mobile networks, the intelligence to maximize the value of those networks, and the services to make it all work seamlessly.

With headquarters in Espoo, Finland, we operate in over 120 countries and had net sales of approximately 13.4 billion euros in 2012.

Nokia Siemens Networks Small Cells

Nokia Siemens Networks offers an end-to-end portfolio of products and services to help operators benefit from combining macro networks with small cells, including ever-present Wi-Fi, in order to achieve the best coverage and capacity needed to meet their increased demands for mobile broadband. The offering includes the award-winning Flexi Zone, which allows an operator to build mobile broadband capacity by deploying clusters of access points in hot spots and hot zones. Also included are residential and enterprise 3G and LTE Femtocell Access Points, a new Smart Wi-Fi solution that simplifies the integration of Wi-Fi and cellular networks, and Flexi Lite for 3G coverage in-fill and hot spots. These products are supported by Services for HetNets to help operators make a success of small cells through the analysis, optimization, deployment and management of macro and small cell networks.

* Access Network Discovery and Selection Function (ANDSF) is a standards-based solution for setting up and managing Wi-Fi traffic steering policies and is currently under discussion by the IEEE and 3GPP. ANDSF allows operators to create subscriber, application and location level traffic steering rules for ANDSF capable terminals. These rules allow the operator to meet the known traffic patterns and take advantage of the Wi-Fi option. Once ANDSF/Network based traffic steering transfers subscribers to the Wi-Fi layer, the Hot Spot 2.0 and Access Network Query Protocol (ANQP) select the best access point for ANQP capable terminals.

** The 2013 Acquisition & Retention Study Report from Nokia Siemens Networks is based on the results of 8,700 interviews of customers in mature markets (Denmark, South Korea, Japan, UK and US), in-transition markets (Brazil, Colombia and Russia) and emerging markets (India) during the second half of 2012. Among the key findings of the report it was noted that:

– Access to operator Wi-Fi hotspots jumped from 24% to 33%, an increase of 35% year-on-year.

– For heavy users in mature markets, Internet quality is a deciding factor in their choice of operators, while voice quality is key in other markets.

*** Access Network Query Protocol (ANQP) is a query and response protocol used by a mobile device to discover a range of information, including the hotspot operator’s domain name (a globally unique, machine searchable data element); roaming partners accessible via the hotspot along with their credential type and EAP method supported for authentication.