In two separate announcements, Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) have announced products aimed at helping operators better coordinate Wi-Fi and 3G networks.
Ericsson unveiled its 3GPP-compliant Wi-Fi network access, control and management products.
Using real-time traffic steering that can dynamically optimise network resources, operators can allow customers to automatically access the best connection available, whether it be Wi-Fi or mobile broadband.
Most smartphone users, claims Ericsson, have experienced the frustration of being automatically connected to a Wi-Fi network only to face a noticeably slower connection speed.
The Ericsson solution is aimed at remedying the problem, optimising network resources, and making it easier for operators to incorporate Wi-Fi in their so-called Het-Net strategy.
As part of its announcement, Ericsson launched a “high performance” indoor Wi-Fi access solution using 802.11ac, which is common on tablets and increasingly prevalent on smartphones.
Two new cloud-controller options from Ericsson, both featuring 3GPP interfaces to the mobile core, are designed to make it easier for operators to add Wi-Fi to their existing mobile services.
NSN is bullish, too, about enhancements made to its Smart Wi-Fi solution, claiming that it now provides the “industry’s most comprehensive traffic steering capabilities between cellular and Wi-Fi networks”.
Launched at MWC 2013, NSN has now extended Smart Wi-Fi with two new tools: Wi-Fi Service Manager and Wi-Fi Activation Manager.
With these tools, says NSN, operators can get access to real-time information about their own or partnered Wi-Fi access points.
And with dynamic traffic steering between cellular and Wi-Fi networks based on real-time network load, there is the added promise of improving the customer experience.