Birdstep provides operator Wi-Fi insight


Missing link in Wi-Fi offload solution to the mobile data boom to be released end March

Birdstep, provider of smart mobile data for operators, has announced that it is set to launch a new product that will give mobile operators visibility into customer activity when they are offloaded to Wi-Fi networks.

At the end of March Birdstep is adding the missing link in the Wi-Fi solution to the mobile data boom issue, by releasing EasyAnalytics. EasyAnalytics is a module that stands alone or works alongside Birdstep's intelligent Wi-Fi offload solution for mobile operators, EasySmart.

Mobile operators are under pressure to use Wi-Fi to offload data traffic from their networks to save capacity and prevent poor quality service or loss of services at peak times and in high density usage areas, noted Birdstep's VP of global sales, Michael Jonsson. However, a common problem is the loss of knowledge about the customer when they leave the mobile network and move onto Wi-Fi.

CEO at Birdstep, Lonnie Schilling, added: 'We're bringing awareness to operators; they will understand where the subscriber is and what they're doing.' He noted that while Birdstep has been successful in the US, where operators are limited in the spectrum they can use so creating a demand for Wi-Fi offload, European operators had looked to 4G for answers.

'European operators were hoping LTE would solve all their bandwidth and data problems,' said Schilling. 'But simple maths shows that it doesn't scale to meet the needs we have; the improvement between 3G and 4G is not significant enough. There is therefore an obvious value in using a heterogeneous network for the bandwidth scalability business case, and Birdstep provides the intelligence of which network to use at which time, plus the security now of knowing that you don't lose visibility of the customer when they go on the Wi-Fi network.'

Commented Jonsson: 'Today analytics for mobile operators is always network-based, not user experience-based. But we have five million intelligent thin clients out there, active on handsets, and when we add analytics to that, operators will have data on the quality of the mobile network when they offload so they know how things are working for the customer.'

Jonsson remarked that an alternative to products such as EasyAnalytics is the strategy being pushed by Cisco, to extend the Wi-Fi network as part of the mobile network. 'The drawback to that is building out a Wi-Fi network will cost operators a lot, plus they will have to push everything back through the core network, adding traffic.'


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