WeFi introduces carrier Wi-Fi offloading solution for third-party Wi-Fi networks

Wi-Fi network database provider WeFi announced a carrier-grade Wi-Fi connectivity and offloading solution called WeANDSF that allows operators to control where, when and under what circumstances their subscribers use public and private Wi-Fi networks.

Operators can essentially undergo a real-time evaluation of Wi-Fi networks vs. their 3G networks, taking into consideration parameters such as RSSI, battery time and the subscriber's monthly data capacity based on the crowd-sourcing WeFi has done on some 6 million devices and some 85 million Wi-Fi networks. The solution uses the Access Network Discovery and Selection Function server that is defined by the 3GPP and is based on WeFi's global database of more than 80 million access points, the company said. WeFi said the solution is in trial with several European and U.S. operators. 

"One of the things we provide to operators is information about how much data subscribers are using, where they are using it, when and over what network," said Eran Naveh, vice president of product strategy, in an interview with FierceBroadbandWireless. "We can provide aggregated reports for both Wi-Fi and cellular networks in time sequences and providing geographical data. We can also cut it down to the level of specific applications. Operators want to know how much data applications use."

WeANDSF complies with the Access Network Discovery and Selection Function (ANDSF) 3GPP standards (23.402, 24.312). WeFi said it already provides a pre-standard WeANDSF server and compatible client-side software and that the products can be migrated to the full ANDSF-compliant solution to manage ANDSF-compliant handsets, when these become available in the market by 2012.

Offloading mobile data traffic onto Wi-Fi networks has become a hot topic but primarily the discussion has centered around carrier-built Wi-Fi networks and not third-party networks.

For more:
- see this release

Related articles:
Wi-Fi offload for mobile networks: 20% of traffic and counting
How are Android smartphone customers using WiFi?
Report: Android phone owners heavy WiFi users