Birdstep Technology and Wireless 20/20 team up to optimise 4G and Wi-Fi in heterogeneous networks
Birdstep Technology, a provider of smart mobile data and secure mobility, and Wireless 20/20, a wireless broadband consultancy, have announced a partnership to help mobile network operators and service providers reduce total cost of ownership and increase profitability for heterogeneous networks that combine 4G LTE with Wi-Fi.
The custom version of Wireless 20/20's WiROI 4G Business Case Analysis Tool can now incorporate real usage data from Birdstep's EasySmart, SmartANDSF and EasyAnalytics systems, enabling operators and service providers to optimise the use of Wi-Fi offload.
In addition to the mobile network analysis, the package includes Wireless 20/20's recently announced WiROI Venue Tool enabling operators and venue owners to simulate the impact of deploying Wi-Fi and 4G LTE side by side in high density areas like stadiums, arenas, airports and convention centres.
This tool dovetails with Birdstep's client/server solution that can make real time decisions over whether and when to offload data, based on policies set by the owner. It incorporates Birdstep's SmartANDSF, an enhanced version of the Access Network Discovery and Selection Function (ANDSF), to make the offload process as seamless as possible, while a balance between end user quality of service and operating costs.
'The Birdstep EasySmart, SmartANDSF and Seamless Login technology significantly increases the chances that a smartphone will connect to a Wi-Fi network thereby increasing the amount of data offload to Wi-Fi,' said Randall Schwartz of Wireless 20/20. 'Using the WiROI tool in a typical mobile network operator business case, our analysis shows an operator can see an increase of 20X the savings that Wi-Fi offload can bring to its 4G business case. In addition, the operator can see up to a five times increase in the potential upside revenue.'
Birdstep stated that while many products now support some form of Wi-Fi offload, most leave users having to find an available Wi-Fi network themselves, and lack the ability to optimise the offload process. Such passive solutions may bring more users on to Wi-Fi, but the amount of data offloaded is unlikely to reach the desired level, Birdstep claimed.
However, using the Birdstep solutions, mobile operators and service providers will have full control of Wi-Fi offload through an active approach that can automatically turn on Wi-Fi at the right time and place, determined by the operator's policy or requirement, without requiring manual login. This capability makes the level of data offload much more predictable, and helps the operator and provider maximise the impact of Wi-Fi offload on their network deployment planning, Birdstep said.