With the emergence of smart phones, technical device and tablets, mobile data usage is now threatening to decrease the user’s networking experience. The growth in data revenue cannot cover the decline in voice revenues, threatening mobile operators in a position to upgrade their network capacity. This unexpected growth of smart devices is overloading 3G networks and forcing Telco to take a closer look at the devices’ built in Wi-Fi capabilities to recuperate acceptable browsing, video streaming and other data-intensive experiences.
However, a sustainable mobile data business model can only be achieved based on whether the mobile operators can find solutions to: 1) Increase the Revenue per bit, 2) Reduce the Cost per bit, or even 3) both.
This is the reason why Wifi networks have become the target many mobile operators are now expecting to offload their data traffic. This solution can prolong the current network life-expectancy while providing a better and flexible user experience. Instead of waiting 4G solution or implementing other costly solutions to expand the wireless bandwidth, Telco has immediate benefits to expand their existing PWLAN network to offload the congested 3G network:
-Wi-Fi is ready built-in the mobile devices today.
-Wi-Fi hotspots can be built economically and the coverage can be expanded incrementally.
-PWLAN Accounting and Roaming infrastructure already exist. Saves time and cost for new technology.
4ipnet’s Secure WLAN Controller becomes the perfect choice for cellular and smart device carriers looking for a safe and cost-effective solution to offload data traffic.4ipnet’s solution for 3G off-load to Wifi will reduce mobile data consumption such as video and audio transmission.
4ipnet’s 3G Offload Solution directs data path to go from the WLAN User Equipment (UE) directly to Intranet/Internet via WLAN Access Network without having to enter the 3GPP Network. Only the signaling path inter-works with 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) AAA Server. This is called the “Application Based Switching” offload type.
The data path goes from the WLAN UE via WLAN Access Network to Packet Data Gateway (PDG) to the Internet. The 3G Access Network is bypassed from this path but the 3G PDG serves as the data gateway for the WLAN UE. This are the called“IP Mobility” and “IP Mobility + IP Flow Mobility” offload types
Figure 2: WLAN Radio Networks interworking with 3GPP (Cited from Figure 4.1 in 3GPP TS 23.234)
From the mobile network operator’s point of view, a deployment is adopted when the WLAN Access Network is exclusively owned and connected to a single 3G network.
Figure 3: An example of 4ipnet’s 3G Offload Solution
-4ipnet WLAN Controller serves as a Access Controller (AC) enforcing access control for clients accessing the PWLAN service
-Indoor/Outdoor Access Points (AP)
-Layer2 Devices (L2) such as VLAN switch, BRAS, DSLAM, AUTR, xDSL modem
-UAM Web Portals (Web)
-Visited AAA RADIUS Server/Proxy (AAA-V)
-Intermediary AAA RADIUS as roaming broker (AAA-I)
-Home AAA RADIUS (AAA-H)
-Authentication Gateway for SIM (AS) between PWLAN and a cellular network
Figure 4: A complete overview of 4ipnet 3G offload capabilities.
Advantages of 4ipnet’s 3G Offload Technology
1. Traffic Offload Support
-Support Wi-Fi traffic offload for 3G network via interworking with 3GPP AAA server
-Function as RADIUS NAS and RADIUS Proxy supporting EAP-SIM, EAP-AKA for seamless integration with user’s mobile account
2. Central WLAN Management
-Provide ease of WLAN AP (with 4ipnet AP’s) deployment and maintenance to reduce the OPEX cost for the WLAN access network
3. Flexible User Management
User group based management for bandwidth and access rules
Per user visited web pages logs for legal enforcement needs
4. Multi-Layer PWLAN Security
-Support wireless firewall (with 4ipnet AP’s)
-Per hotspot attack isolation to prevent attack proliferation
5. Roaming and Smart Client
-Built-in with Web Server
-Support external Web Servers for location-based, customized login pages to users, or roaming partner’s login pages
-Support Smart Client (iPass, Boingo, iPhone CNS, Skype Access, Huawei dual-mode client) for mobile device’s ease of WLAN access
6. Shared Access, Branding, and Advertisement
-Support multiple service zones for shared access
-Customizable pages (login, logout, login success…)
-Walled garden advertisement links