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Wi-Fi Offloading for Congestion-Free 5G era

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We discuss the following topics in this blog:

  1. Increasing need for high-speed downloads with low latency.
  2. WiFi Offloading solutions and benefits.
  3. dSmartMobility: STL’s cutting edge WiFi Offloading and Spectrum management portfolio

In addition to these topics, we shall also be answering the following FAQs:

  1. What is WiFi?
  2. What is WiFi 6?

Is 5G the Answer to High Bandwidth?

With the demands for data-intensive content, and the convergence of mobile and connected devices, video-based apps require high bandwidth speeds. 5G and WiFi6 will transform and disrupt how business is done and provide a rich customer experience.  The 5G vision promises to deliver high-speed downloads with low latency performance.

It reduces congestion on mobile networks, alongside 5G will support use cases like augmented reality (AR), autonomous vehicles, and more connected Internet of Things (IoT) devices.  However, 5G suffers from indoor coverage issues, and rolling out expensive indoor 5G solutions poses a challenge. Wi-Fi offloading is the best answer to it as it is a more affordable way to connect and provides a good customer experience (CX). 

Wi-Fi Offloading Solution:

Wi-Fi offloading is the use of Wi-Fi hotspots to keep the mobile devices connected, this can be done manually or by logging into a home or public Wi-Fi. This solution takes place at the device level when it switches from a cellular connection to Wi-Fi or small cell access, like in case of mobile traffic gets offloaded to public hotspots, enterprise or residential Wi-Fi networks. 

The amount of data transferred during each Wi-Fi session outpaces the amount transferred during cellular sessions.  Because of this, carriers can improve their network quality in areas with a lack or low mobile coverage. Wi-Fi is a more affordable way as it consumes less data, consumers get to spend less roaming charging and stay connected at places where cellular networks fail to connect well.

The present-day WiFi 6 offers to support 5G and delivers low latency, support more devices and cost-effective easily deployable solution and relieves much of data traffic congestion.  With Wi-Fi offloading, carriers can save costs, saving them from having to build out expensive networks.

What are the Benefits of Wi-Fi Offloading?

  1. Reduced Network Congestion
  2. Lower operational costs (OpEx) – as WiFi is more affordable to connect and provides better connection
  3. Maximize revenues
  4. Lower churn with better CX
  5. Security in line with mobile networks

Business & Monetization:

  • Boost for MVNOs and operators

Wi-Fi offload for service providers like MVNOs, MNOs faces severe bandwidth issues. With Wi-Fi offloading subscribers to Wi-Fi, these service providers will continue to offer data plans at low costs and provide enhanced CX. 

  • WiFi for Enterprises

In the case of Wi-Fi offloading for enterprises, Wi-Fi will enable the best employee productivity and reduce employee and enterprise spending on cellular plans.  With a majority of the workforce and consumers constantly on the move, Wi-Fi serves streaming, video calls, accessing apps moreover Wi-Fi over a typical cellular network, so in this case, Wi-Fi offload is essential.

  • Wi-Fi offload in B2B, B2C loyalty programs 

Monetization with Wi-Fi offloading presents itself in the case when an operator gives guest Wi-Fi services to industries such as travel, retail, and hospitality will rake in good revenues.  Providing public Wi-Fi with roaming facilities, customer intelligence data from social media can be driven through ads at malls, monetization of B2B, B2C Wi-Fi services through captive portals, Wi-Fi services with high bandwidth to high spending customers are few monetization models

dSmartMobility Solution

STL’s cutting edge WiFi Offloading and Spectrum management portfolio, one of which is the dSmartMobility solution helps communication service providers (CSPs) offload traffic from 3G/4G networks to Wi-Fi networks with ease and offers increased bandwidth and saving costs.  STL’s Wi-Fi offloading solution helps mobile network operators to adopt Wi-Fi domain into their network infrastructure. The platform enables mobile operators to offload broadband traffic, provide inter-standard roaming, and offer end subscribers to receive calls and SMS over their phone, during the same time registered in the Wi-Fi network with the help of Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) technology.  Read on about how STL’s dSmartMobility can make a big difference in revenues and provide enhanced CX or talk to STL’s experts.

With technology advancement comes with it few problems; in the case of Wi-Fi, it includes more do to with operators, vendors, and client software, which is being addressed in the latest WiFi6 and does not pose much of a challenge.[ Here’s how WiFi6 has its way out – WiFi6 has fewer interference issues than 2.4 or 5Ghz with lower latency, improved capacity and supports more devices at affordable prices than its predecessors and easy to deploy with indoor BTS solutions, proving that WiFi6 will be the new default indoor wireless solution to relieve data traffic congestion.

Wi-Fi Offloading Key Takeaways:

  • Wi-Fi offload is the use of Wi-Fi hotspots to keep your mobile devices connected.
  • Wi-Fi is a more affordable way to connect and provides better connection experiences than cellular.
  • Even though daily Wi-Fi session times are a fraction of daily cellular session times, the amount of data transferred during Wi-Fi sessions far outpaces the amount transferred during cellular sessions.
  • How service providers, enterprises, and loyalty marketers can leverage Wi-Fi offload for successful CSP monetization.


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 WiFi 6?

WiFi stands for Wireless Fidelity and is also a common name for Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN). WiFi 6 is the newest and fastest version of the WiFi 802.11 wireless local area network specification standard. IEEE 802.11ax or commonly marketed as WiFi 6 by the industry body WiFi-Alliance is a significant advancement over its previous generation. It offers multiple devices to run concurrently on one network without compromising the data speeds and response times.

The IEEE approved the 802.11ax standard on February 9, 2021, which is designed to operate between 1 and 7.125 GHz, including the widely used 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. To better understand, WiFi or Wireless Fidelity devices usually translate radio waves into binary code using a technique called QAM, ie. Quadrature Amplitude Modulation. The older generations of WiFi are capable of 256 QAM, i.e., it could send 8 bits of binary data in a single transmission. In contrast, WiFi 6 is capable of 1024 QAM, i.e., 10 bits of binary data in a single transmission.

This significant increase helps WiFi 6 devices to provide 30% faster speeds than its predecessors. The previous WiFi standards like 802.11/a/g/n/ac used OFDM, which meant all of the subcarriers or tones were allocated to a single device at any instance of time. WiFi 5 introduced Multi-user MIMO, enabling multiple users on the wireless medium simultaneously, thereby adding multiple users across different streams with each device using all of the subcarriers.

With WiFi 6, OFDMA can now portion up the individual sub-carriers or tones, which can be allocated to several devices. The benefits aren’t limited to greater bandwidths, higher data speeds, and lower latencies. WiFi 6 also offers better spectrum utilization using orthogonal frequency-division multiple access (OFDMA), Multi-user MIMO support, better power consumption, and enhanced security protocols.

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