Smartphones taxing enterprise Wi-Fi networks

While U.S. operators are beginning to embrace offloading smartphone traffic onto Wi-Fi networks to ease congestion, the proliferation of Wi-Fi-enabled smartphones is causing headaches for IT managers because employees are offloading their smartphone data traffic onto the enterprise Wi-Fi network, and, ironically, creating a data traffic jam.

During a wireless and mobility panel discussion last week at the Interop show in Las Vegas, several enterprise IT managers complained about the trend and the fact that they must increase their Wi-Fi backhaul and reconfigure their enterprise-grade Wi-Fi networks to address the extra traffic.

Arun Bhikshesvaran, vice president of strategy and market development at Ericsson North America, said enterprise Wi-Fi networks must be managed just like cellular networks. And operators that have embraced the offload concept need to find a way to track customer usage over the Wi-Fi network by gaining more intelligence into these networks.

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