Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > SP360: Service Provider

The Mobile Paradox

Today’s world is characterized by what I call the “mobile explosion”—an environment defined by mobile cloud becoming a platform for delivering everything. It is a world of heterogeneous networks, licensed macro small cell networks, and unlicensed small cell networks (Wi-Fi for example), all seamlessly combined. In this world, however, I believe we are facing a mobile paradox: on the one hand, there is a staggering demand for data from our smartphones, tablets, and other connected devices; on the other hand, the telecommunications industry is grappling with business and monetization challenges around profitability, how to build up these networks fast enough, and competition from over-the-top (OTT) operators.  But, operators are struggling with building the business case and understanding how to make Wi-Fi pay.

The much quoted Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) predicts that global mobile data traffic will increase 13-fold from 2012 to 2017, reaching 11.2 exabytes per month. In parallel, the use of unlicensed small cell networks (Wi-Fi) for Internet access is exploding as more mobile devices are Wi-Fi-enabled, the number of public hotspots expands, and user acceptance grows. Until recently, most technologists and mobile industry executives viewed Wi-Fi as the “poor cousin” to licensed mobile communications.  And they most certainly never saw any role for Wi-Fi in mobile networks or their business. The explosion of mobile data traffic has changed all of that. Most mobile operators now realize that offloading data traffic to Wi-Fi can, and must, play a significant role in helping them avoid clogged networks and unhappy customers.

Untitled

In the “Business Models and Monetization Video” in Big Thinkers in Small Cells, my colleagues and I discuss revenue opportunities and challenges mobile operators face today with small cells, both licensed and unlicensed. Mobile operators Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Integrating Wi-Fi into Today’s Mobile Networks

By Peter Gaspar, Consulting Systems Engineer, Service Provider Mobility, Emerging Theater

It’s not new news that when it comes to network access, Wi-Fi technology is a cost-effective complement to macro radio access. Industry blogs continuously feature analysis about the economic advantages of using Wi-Fi as a small cell technology. No surprise, then, that many mobile operators have completed or are working seriously on plans to integrate this technology into their mobile ecosystems.

But when it comes to details, things start to get confusing. Terms like policy and charging, lawful intercept, mobility and SIM authentication start to pop up. The Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) has incorporated Wi-Fi (non-3GPP IP Access) as part of the LTE architecture, created the terminology and studied the Read More »

Tags: , , , , ,