NSN’s smart wifi claims to selectively offload traffic from the macro network to wifi without any break in service

Offload is sure to be a hot topic at this year’s Mobile World Congress. But bidding to steal a  march on announcements made at the show is Nokia Siemens Networks with a technology proposal that the firm claimed Tuesday could seamlessly extend the mobile network with wifi.

Under the premise of helping operators deal with congestion, NSN said its smart wifi can selectively offload traffic from the macro network to wifi without any break in service. According to NSN, the technology bypasses a device’s need to switch its data connection between wifi and cellular broadband, handling the transition without interrupting service. Operators should then be able to redeploy existing services and functionality supported by the packet core network such as authentication, charging, policy control and traffic management, on the wifi network.

The vendor is being vague about the mechanics of its offering but will officially launch smart wifi at MWC. The offering will be commercially available in the second half of the year.

“We all know that mobile data traffic is growing at an exponential rate due to the widespread adoption of smart phones, tablets and net books,” said Thorsten Robrecht, head of network systems product management at Nokia Siemens Networks. “All these devices support wifi so integrating wifi with mobile networks can reduce the need for additional capacity in the wider mobile network, particularly, in traffic hotspot areas. People can enjoy a superior and seamless service without the hassle of having to choose among different networks and technologies, resulting in higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.”

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