Is WiFi going to win out over small cells as the best option for offloading?

September 26, 2012

 

Offloading to WiFi networks is expected to grow 16-fold between 2011 and 2016, according to market research consultancy iGR.  We all know that operators are desperately looking for ways to provide their customers with high-Small Cell & Wi-Fi Offloading Strategiesquality, reliable data whilst relieving congestion on their macro networks, and are looking at either WiFi or small cells to achieve this.

 

But, considering that WiFi offloading is predominantly driven by users manually choosing a WiFi connection rather than their mobile broadband connection, is this increase really likely to happen?  According to iGR, it will if a move is made to operator-driven offloading in which the mobile operator actively switches 3G or 4G traffic to a WiFi network.  But to make this work, operators need the right equipment in both the network and the handsets.

 

So how realistic is this 16-fold increase?  And will operators prefer to invest in WiFi rather than small cells?  These key questions are being addressed at the Small Cell and WiFi Offloading Strategies event in December.  Find out the pros and cons of using either small cells or WiFi as a sustainable offloading solution and how you can deploy it quickly and effectively without disrupting your network.

 

When it’s all about providing seamless connectivity and a great customer experience, where would you put your money: WiFi or small cells?

Small Cell & Wi-Fi Offloading Strategies: 3-5 December 2012.

View the updated Final agenda or request one at telecoms@iqpc.co.uk.


London Olympic park on track to be the largest high density Wi-Fi venue ever!

May 31, 2012

BT is on target to deploy a million Wi-Fi hotspots in London as it steps up its Wi-Fi deployment ahead of the Olympic Games.

BT’s dedicated Wi-Fi network strategy for the Olympic Park will help meet the huge demand for internet access from those attending the Olympic and Paralympic Games

With over 1000 access points across 9 different Olympic venues and across all of the public areas, the Park is set to be the largest high density Wi-Fi venue ever to exist and could potentially see more Wi-Fi users in any one place than any other event before.

With this latest announcement from BT – the 2012 Olympics will be a truly digital Games and the enhanced Wi-Fi coverage will allow people to get online, keep in touch with friends and family and share their experiences of the event.

The Mayor of London has been quoted in the news this week saying – “This is fantastic news for the millions of visitors coming to the capital to enjoy this incredible summer of sport but even better news for London’s businesses who will continue to reap the benefits of this boost to the city’s ever expanding digital infrastructure long after the Games are over.”

As London pushes to become ever more digital ahead of the Games, the question now is: What comes after the Olympics? 

Virgin Media won the contract back in March to provide the London Underground with a Wi-Fi service but there seems to be a raft of challenges around doing this.  This latest innovation is clearly great news for tube customers but, how successful will it really be?  Will tube customers really be able to access the internet underground by the end of 2012?  And, what else is on the cards as operators push to provide seamless internet access for their users in every part of the Capital.

If you would like to know more about this event, please visit our website www.dataoffloading.com .


WiFi offload will be a huge topic for operators looking to deploy LTE

April 5, 2012

LTEAs some industry analysts predict that a whopping $10.84bn will be spent on global LTE infrastructure in 2012 alone, it’s no surprise that LTE deployment was a hot topic for operators and device manufacturers at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

At the dedicated LTE Forum key questions surrounding LTE were posed by the operators in the room:

Questions including:

– How can you optimise your LTE network deployment?
– How can you ensure that you successfully monetise your LTE network?
– How can you ensure optimal user experience from your new LTE network?

Following some general discussion from the floor, KDDI, Telecom New Zealand, Etisalat, Telenor and Reliance 4G took to a panel discussion where some important issues were raised by the panellists:

• Operators need to learn how to market LTE services correctly to ensure that they make a profit
• Network sharing is going to be a big topic over the coming few years if operators are going to keep costs down when deploying LTE – how do operators overcome the challenges associated with network sharing agreements?
• Operators need to determine how to ensure seamless connectivity  between WiFi and  LTE
• Operators need to know how to become super pipes not dumb pipes!

The panel went on to state that one of the biggest areas of investment for them was going to be E2E experience and transparency using performance analytics tools.

Additionally, as statistics show that 60-65% of people are using data in a home or building, it became clear that WiFi offload will be a huge topic for operators looking to deploy LTE.  Alongside this, mobile operators are placing more and more importance on working with their fixed line counterparts as they try to improve these relationships and leverage them to enhance user experience and monetise their networks.

A huge problem that was discussed in-depth was how to provide seamless connectivity across both fixed and mobile.

With huge growth in LTE investment predicted between 2012 and 2015 it’s clear that there are still a lot of hurdles for operators to overcome.  As critical questions remain unanswered, just how are operators going to ensure that they adopt the best LTE deployment methods and strategies that ensure both optimal user experience and the best ROI?

If you interested in LTE, topics will be covered at Mobile Network Performance Management in June. Additionally, LTE Deployment Strategies will be taking place November. If you are interested in hearing more about these events, please email telecoms@iqpc.co.uk.


Hotspot Usage to Reach 120 Billion Connects by 2015

September 27, 2011

Over the past few years, the growth in the hotspot market has largely been driven by wireless and broadband providers embracing Wi-Fi as an added enhancement to core services within their portfolio. As usage grows new research shows that there will be almost 120 billion connects in 2015.

The report conducted by In-Stat shows that worldwide hotspot venues will increase to over 1 million by 2013 and will continue to be a key factor in mobile operator’s data offloading strategies. Additionally, notebooks continue to account for the majority of connects but the rate of smartphone and tablet access is increasing rapidly.

“The hotspot market is in a continuous state of flux. Now over a decade old, the market is still undergoing significant changes in usage and business models,” says Amy Cravens, Senior Analyst. “Wi-Fi hotspots have become a service used to attract customers to other product offerings, rather than a standalone offering. Whether the product is broadband, mobile service, or a cup of coffee, Wi-Fi is being layered on top of core offerings as a competitive differentiator.”

Additional In-Stat research, Wi-Fi Hotspots: The Mobile Operator’s 3G Offload Alternative, covers how hotspots are being used, the frequency, and the occasion for usage. These all continue to transition due to a variety of factors, including: wide-scale adoption of Wi-Fi-enabled handsets and a blending of mobile and Wi-Fi experiences and further integration of Wi-Fi into mobile operator strategies.

Furthermore, the report also states that over the coming years there will be automatic log in and seamless access as NGH technologies are implemented, shifts in payment models will see free and bundled access and new application potential will see video and location based services.

If you are interested in finding out more on the above, Data Offloading Strategies takes place in Barcelona in December and will cover how to implement and leverage WiFi and small cells to cost-effectively expand network coverage and capacity whilst delivering an optimal customer experience.