We discuss the following topics in this blog:
- How are CSPs Handling the Status Quo
- How to Balance Load Between Mobile and Fixed Networks?
- STL’s dWiFi solution
In addition to these topics, we shall also be answering the following FAQs:
- What is WiFi?
- What is an Optical Fibre Cable?
How are CSPs Handling the Status Quo?
As this blog goes up the world is still staring at uncertainty. An extreme reminder of how vulnerable humanity is. It is affecting countries, economies, organizations and people in unimaginable ways, the complete impact of which is still being understood.
An industry that is standing tall and punching above its weight, in helping humanity cope up with the situation, is undeniably the Telecom industry. Ably supporting everything that is thrown at it, be it the need to keep administrations, hospitals, security and emergency services connected or even the needs of work from homes or self-quarantines. Imagine having to scale up overnight to scenarios, that increased the load on cellular networks multi-fold, which the networks were never designed for! Like in China where usage of collaboration platforms went up a whopping 500% since the end January 2020 or like in the case of Telecom Italia where the internet traffic has zoomed by over 70%.
CSPs have resorted to multiple solutions to keep the networks up and running including limiting traffic of less essential background services, prioritizing mission-critical applications over others, optimizing RAN schedulers etc. Decisions like Netflix and YouTube downgrading quality of services help too.
How to Balance Load Between Mobile and Fixed Networks?
A curious scenario that emerged on certain networks from the increased WFH demands is that of traffic going up on broadband lines leaving mobile networks underutilized. Along with affecting the quality of service this also puts additional needs on the already stretched schedules of telco staff who are ensuring uptimes. The need, thus, is for a solution that is intelligent enough to understand the situation and take steps to balance load between mobile and fixed networks.
STL does offer a solution that precisely delivers this. Its dWiFi platform helps in decongesting network traffic by efficient data management in LTE and WiFi channels. It intelligently switches network from LTE-to-WiFi-to-LTE networks based on signal strength, throughput, latency, jitter and packet-loss without manual intervention and provide seamless connectivity. It also helps to improve network selection, adds policy-control capabilities, enables smart decision making based on analytics. This intelligent offload offering consists of three building blocks – Access Network Discovery and Selection Function (ANDSF) server, Smart ANDSF compliant Client and Edge Analytics. dWifi platform deliver proven value with over 250m customers already benefiting from it.
- No additional infra investments, dWiFi leverages existing infra and improves ROI on infra investments
- Built in analytics provides actionable insights into categories of Network & Policy, User Mobile Device & Location for Data Monetization, Network Optimization & Enhance User Experience
- Improves user experience & customer loyalty by providing seamless transition between LTE and WiFi
- Alleviates 4G/3G network clogging and augments cellular network capacity by offering reliable Wi-Fi access with improvised coverage
Learn more about dWiFi here.
What is WiFi?
Put simply, WiFi is a technology that uses radio waves to create a wireless network through which devices like mobile phones, computers, printers, etc., connect to the internet. A wireless router is needed to establish a WiFi hotspot that people in its vicinity may use to access internet services. You’re sure to have encountered such a WiFi hotspot in houses, offices, restaurants, etc.
To get a little more technical, WiFi works by enabling a Wireless Local Area Network or WLAN that allows devices connected to it to exchange signals with the internet via a router. The frequencies of these signals are either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz bandwidths. These frequencies are much higher than those transmitted to or by radios, mobile phones, and televisions since WiFi signals need to carry significantly higher amounts of data. The networking standards are variants of 802.11, of which there are several (802.11a, 802.11b, 801.11g, etc.).
What is an Optical Fibre Cable?
An optical fibre cable is a cable type that has a few to hundreds of optical fibres bundled together within a protective plastic coating. They help carry digital data in the form of light pulses across large distances at faster speeds. For this, they need to be installed or deployed either underground or aerially. Standalone fibres cannot be buried or hanged so fibres are bunched together as cables for the transmission of data. This is done to protect the fibre from stress, moisture, temperature changes and other externalities. There are three main components of a optical fibre cable, core (It carries the light and is made of pure silicon dioxide (SiO2) with dopants such as germania, phosphorous pentoxide, or alumina to raise the refractive index; Typical glass cores range from as small as 3.7um up to 200um), Cladding (Cladding surrounds the core and has a lower refractive index than the core, it is also made from the same material as the core; 1% refractive index difference is maintained between the core and cladding; Two commonly used diameters are 125µm and 140µm) and Coating (Protective layer that absorbs shocks, physical damage and moisture; The outside diameter of the coating is typically either 250µm or 500µm; Commonly used material for coatings are acrylate,Silicone, carbon, and polyimide).
An optical fibre cable is made up of the following components: Optical fibres – ranging from one to many. Buffer tubes (with different settings), for protection and cushioning of the fibre. Water protection in the tubes – wet or dry. A central strength member (CSM) is the backbone of all cables. Armoured tapes for stranding to bunch the buffer tubes and strength members together. Sheathing or final covering to provide further protection.
The five main reasons that make this technology innovation disruptive are fast communication speed, infinite bandwidth & capacity, low interference, high tensile strength and secure communication. The major usescases of optical fibre cables include intenet connectivity, computer networking, surgery & dentistry, automotive industry, telephony, lighting & decorations, mechanical inspections, cable television, military applications and space.