4G Americas says integrating cellular and Wi-Fi is critical to meeting capacity demands

4G Americas has published a whitepaper, Integration of Cellular and Wi-Fi Networks, which makes specific recommendations to enhance key components in Wi-Fi/Cellular integration.

The whitepaper focuses on enhancing Wi-Fi network selection and traffic steering, referred to as Intelligent Network Selection (INS) enabled by Access Network Discovery and Selection Function (ANDSF).  Using ANDSF for Wi-Fi network selection can contribute to better network performance and lead to improved user experience.

According to 4G Americas, fundamental aspects to Wi-Fi include seamless service / session continuity, QoS, security, Hotspot 2.0 and concepts of INS; ANDSF, its technical background and existing challenges for ANDSF-based INS; and device aspects of network selection and traffic steering, current standards and solutions and gaps in existing standards work.

Networks are getting congested with mobile and video traffic. The Wi-Fi technology standards are uniquely positioned to complement existing cellular networks given its adoption and harmonized unlicensed global spectrum allocation.


According to Chris Pearson, president of 4G Americas, service providers need to improve Wi-Fi and Cellular interworking for ubiquitous mobile broadband access.

4G Americas reviews the standardization work in 3GPP for a network-based mobility mechanism (SaMOG). This technology option supports tight integration of Trusted Wi-Fi networks with 3GPP Cellular networks and is identified as the best path forward.

Subscribers can move between LTE and Trusted Wi-Fi networks while preserving their IP address and allowing access to Operator Services over Wi-Fi (IP Multimedia Subsystem or IMS), the report said.

4G Americas also recommends the use of WPA2 airlink encryption and SIM-based credentials for authentication purposes by dual mode devices that support both Wi-Fi and Cellular accesses. It explores how to enable real-time services and end-to-end Quality of Service over an integrated Trusted Wi-Fi network.

The 4G Americas project was supported by AT&T and Ericsson.

AT&T thinks the integration of Wi-Fi and Cellular will provide a benefit to both operators and their customers.

Ericsson said Wi-Fi is one of the tools in the toolkit for operators to meet the increasing demand for mobile broadband connectivity, especially indoors, and to help mitigate resulting network capacity concerns.

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