New roaming technology as well as the deployment of more hotspots and small cells will lead carriers to increasingly turn to Wi-Fi offloading for data capacity in the years ahead, according to a new survey from the Wireless Broadband Alliance.
Tier 1 mobile operators are becoming big believers in shifting data traffic from their cellular networks and onto Wi-Fi networks, and they expect 22 percent of all data capacity added during 2013-2014 to come from Wi-Fi offload, according to a new survey.
The Wireless Broadband Alliance said the world's first live, public Next Generation Hotspot network will debut next month during the Wi-Fi Global Congress in Beijing. The network will be hosted by Cisco and China Mobile.
After years of fits and starts, demand for cellular/Wi-Fi roaming appears to be reaching a fever pitch, which is in turn driving companies and standards groups to respond with solutions they say will allow smartphone users to blissfully travel across Wi-Fi networks with all of the same services (like voice, texting and so on) they are used to receiving while on cellular networks.
The Wireless Broadband Alliance said its ongoing collaboration with the GSMA to facilitate roaming between Wi-Fi and cellular networks has revealed that there are a couple of additional issues the industry needs to address: authentication signaling optimization and session continuity.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about several wireless-related features missing from Apple's new iPhone 5s and 5c. On the list was the iPhones' lack of support for high-speed 802.11ac Wi-Fi. However, it is worth mentioning that the new smartphones do include another particularly important Wi-Fi feature: Hotspot 2.0.
The nation's top cable companies will soon begin using widespread Wi-Fi networks and new roaming technologies to disrupt the current wireless marketplace, predicted one Wall Street analyst.
Cable operators are poised to shake up the wireless high-speed data business by using Wi-Fi hotspots to sell services that rely on Hotspot 2.0 technology, which could simplify Wi-Fi roaming, Jefferies analyst Thomas Seitz said in a research note Tuesday.
AT&T Mobility is pushing for more international Wi-Fi roaming agreements between carriers and Wi-Fi providers as part of a wider push to make it more seamless for carriers and their customers to offload traffic from cellular networks onto Wi-Fi.
Apple introduced a bevy of new software features for iOS 7 on Monday, but among the ones it didn't spend a lot of time talking about is support for the Hotspot 2.0 standard, which should make it easier for iOS devices to connect to certified and secure W-Fi hotspots. The standard could help wireless carriers offload traffic from their cellular networks to Wi-Fi networks.