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Showing posts with label Mobile Data. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mobile Data. Show all posts

Saturday, 8 February 2014

100 years of Wireless History

Recently attended the Cambridge Wireless Inaugural Wireless Heritage SIG event, “100 years of radio”. Some very interesting presentations and discussions on the wireless history. I have collected all the presentations and merged them into one and embedded them below. All presentations can be downloaded individually from CW website here. A combined one is available from Slideshare.

Presentations are:

  • Colin Smithers, Chairman, Plextek - 1914 to 1934: The wireless wave
  • Geoff Varrall, Director, RTT Online - 1934 to 1945: The wireless war
  • Steve Haseldine, Chairman, Deaf Alerter - 1945 to 1974: The cold war - radio goes underground
  • Prof Nigel Linge, Professor of Telecommunications, University of Salford - 1974 to 1994
  • Andy Sutton, Principal Network Architect, EE and Visiting Professor, University of Salford - 1994 to 2014: Mass consumer cellular and the mobile broadband revolution - Broadband radio, digital radio, smart phone and smart networks



Sunday, 30 June 2013

Multi-RAT mobile backhaul for Het-Nets

Recently got another opportunity to hear from Andy Sutton, Principal Network Architect, Network Strategy, EE. His earlier presentation from our Cambridge Wireless event is here. There were many interesting bits in this presentation and some of the ones I found interesting is as follows:

Interesting to see in the above that the LTE traffic in the backhaul is separated by the QCI (QoS Class Identifiers - see here) as opposed to the 2G/3G traffic.




This is EE's implementation. As you may notice 2G and 4G use SRAN (Single RAN) while 3G is separate. As I mentioned a few times, I think 3G networks will probably be switched off before the 2G networks, mainly because there are a lot more 2G M2M devices that requires little data to be sent and not consume lots of energy (which is an issue in 3G), so this architecture may be suited well.


Finally, a practical network implementation which looks different from the text book picture and the often touted 'flat' architecture. Andy did mention that they see a ping latency of 30-50ms in the LTE network as opposed to around 100ms in the UMTS networks.


Mark Gilmour was able to prove this point practically.

Here is the complete presentation:



Thursday, 30 May 2013

Internet Trends by Mary Meeker at #D11

The last time I posted the presentation by Mary Meeker was back in 2011 but the things have moved on and its amazing to see some of the things that have changed. I think the slide that summarises what I mean is as follows:

Nomophobia and FOMO are a big problem and I see this day in day out working in this industry.

The slide pack which was actually posted yesterday has already crossed 550K as I write this, in just 1 day. So you can understand how eagerly awaited event this has become every year.



To download the above, click on the Slideshare icon and then you can save from Slideshare site.

If you want to watch the video of her presentation, its available on All things digital website here.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Is the Global Mobile Roaming model broken?

Yesterday, I noticed some heavyweights discussing roaming prices on Twitter. It is embedded below using the new Twitter embed feature:


Those who follow me on Twitter may have noticed me ranting about the roaming prices recently so I thought that this is a perfect opportunity to put my thoughts down.

As being discussed above, I went on the websites of two UK operators and found out about their roaming rates to India and The USA and they are as follows:


 It should be noted that there is a better rate available with some kind of bundle opt-in from both the operators and I have not shown about the other UK operators but they offer a similar sort of rate so I am not trying to single out O2 and/or Vodafone.

Since LTE is 'All-IP' network my interest is more from Data point of view rather than the voice point of view. A colleague who went to India recently decided that enough is enough and he bought a SIM in India locally. Apparently is just a bit too difficult to get SIM in India if you are not an Indian resident, nevertheless he somehow managed it. The rates as shown below was INR 24 for 100 MB of data.


Rs. 24 is something like $0.50 or £0.35. You see my problem regarding the data rates? People may be quick to point out here that India has the cheapest data rates in the world. On the other hand we look at US, the rates are as follows:

Even if we assume $15 / 1GB data, its far cheaper than the roaming rate which may be something like,  £3/MB = £3000/GB or £6/MB = £6000/GB.

I blogged about all the interesting developments that have been happening in LTE World Summit regarding the roaming solutions but what is the point of having all these solutions if the operators cant work out a way to reduce these costs. Or is it that they do not want to reduce these costs as they are a good source of income?

The operators complain that the OTT services are taking business away from them and turning them into dumb data pipes but to a lot of extent its their fault. People like me who travel often dont want to spend loads of cash on data and have worked out a way around it. Most of the places I visit have WiFi, most of my work is not urgent enough and I can wait till I am in a WiFi coverage area. In some parts of the world, still I have to buy an expensive WiFi access but compared to the roaming rates, its still cheap so I have stopped complaining about it. My decision to book a hotel depends of reviews, free breakfast and free WiFi. Some of our clients who give us their phone to use abroad strictly inform us that data should not be turned on unless its a matter of life and death.

If the operators dont change their strategies and work out a better solution for the roaming rates I am afraid that their short term gains will only lead to long term pains.

Do you have an opinion? I am interested in hearing.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Overview of 3GPP Release-12 Study Item UPCON

Mobile operators are seeing significant increases in user data traffic. For some operators, user data traffic has more than doubled annually for several years. Although the data capacity of networks has increased significantly, the observed increase in user traffic continues to outpace the growth in capacity. This is resulting in increased network congestion and in degraded user service experience. Reasons for this growth in traffic are the rapidly increasing use of smart phones and tablet like devices, and the proliferation of data applications that they support, as well as the use of USB modem dongles for laptops to provide mobile Internet access using 3GPP networks. As the penetration of these terminals increases worldwide and the interest in content-rich multi-media services (e.g. OTT video streaming services) rises, this trend of rapidly increasing data traffic is expected to continue and accelerate.


Here are couple of presentations on this topic:







Related blog posts:

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Data growth from 0.6EB/Mo to 10.6EB/Mo by 2016 (18x)

A slightly old slide that I found while looking for some information but worth putting up here.

1 EB (Exabyte) = 1000000000000000000B = 1018 bytes = 1000000000gigabytes = 1000000terabytes = 1000petabytes

As we can see, Cisco predicts (and I agree) that the mobile data consumption will increase from 0.6 exabytes per month to 10.6 exabytes per month by 2016. What is really debatable is what actually is a mobile device and how much of this data will go through the operators network.

If for example a tablet contains SIM card but you use your own home/work WiFi. Does this qualify as a mobile device and is this data included. What if its exactly the same scenario and the device does not have a SIM card then would you say this is a mobile device? What happens when the operator allows you to use an Operator WiFi which is secured via login/password and you use the tablet without SIM card on an operator WiFi. Would you count this data, is the device considered as a mobile device.

The bottom line is that data usage will continue to grow but probably not on the mobile networks. WiFi would be a prime candidate for offloading, due to it being mostly free (or costing much less - except in the hotels). Some of the recent pricing by the operators make me feel that they do not want the users to use their network for every day use, only for important work.

See Also:



Monday, 22 October 2012

M2M and the 'Big Data'

Couple of months back, there was this Dilbert strip on the big data.


Apparently, Social networks, M2M devices and many other sources of data, keeps on generating data all the time. This data can provide us with a lot of useful information if proper analytics can be done on it. This is a real challenge in guess. There will also be security and privacy implications that may decide how and what can be used and by whom.

Here is a simple introductory video by Intel explaining what Big Data is:

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Data Consumed by Different Streaming Applications


Interesting table from the 4G Americas presentation about data consumption by different streaming apps. With LTE getting deployed and tablets becoming popular, I wont be surprised to see 1GB allowance consumed in couple of days. In a blog post on Verizon Wireless website earlier they had mentioned that 4GB data bucket will be minimum that is needed. In the end I think we may all stick with the trusted and reliable WiFi for thats fast and free!

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Sunday, 8 July 2012

3GPP based 'Sponsored Data Connectivity'


One of the features being investigated and added is the Sponsored Data Connectivity feature in the Evolved Packet System. This feature has lots of backers as this is deemed to be a new source of revenue for the operators.

In Release-10 one of the items for this is titled 'Policy Enhancements for Sponsored Connectivity and Coherent Access to Policy related Databases (PEST)'

The justification for PEST is as follows:


With the emerging of innovative IP services, the transactional data usage is becoming more and more prevalent on the mobile. For example, the user downloads a purchased ebook from an online store; the user purchases and downloads a game from an operator store; the user views free trailer clip from an online library to determine whether to buy the entire movie or not. In many cases, the Sponsor (e.g., Application service provider) pays for the user’s data usage in order to allow the user to access the Application Service Provider’s services. This enables additional revenue opportunities for both the Application service providers and the operators.


In particular, such dynamic data usage provided by the Sponsor allows the operator to increase revenues from the users with limited data plans. The user may have limited data plans allowing only a nominal data volume per month and the Sponsor may dynamically sponsor additional volume for the user to allow access to the services offered by the Application service providers.


The PCC framework can be enhanced to enable such use cases, in particular, it allows the operator to provide service control based on such sponsored services. For example, it allows a dynamic IP flow to be excluded from the user’s data plan since a Sponsor might sponsor the data usage for the identified IP flows. For example, the user may use the limited data plan to browse an online store for interested books; but once a book is purchased, the data usage for downloading the book can be granted for free. In addition, the IP flow may also be granted certain level of QoS (e.g. video streaming).



TR 23.813 studied the feasibility of these scenarios of sponsored connectivity in the key issue 1 and converged into a set of extensions to the PCC procedures which will allow the operator to provide sponsored connectivity to sponsor entities.


In addition to Key Issue 1, SA2 also studied the feasibility of Key issue 2 - Coherent access to Policy related databases within TR 23.813. It enables UDR (User Data Repository) in the PCC architecture as an optional functional entity where PCC related subscriber data can be stored and retrieved by the PCRF through the Ud interface. This deployment scenario does not require SPR and allows the PCRF access to the PCC related subscriber data stored in the UDR.

In Release-12 PEST is linked to another new feature titled, 'Interworking between Mobile Operators using the Evolved Packet System and Data Application Providers (MOSAP)'

The Justification of this is as follows:


Mobile operators have to deal with increasing flexibility of data services delivery on different devices. 


The data services could be hosted by the mobile operators in their data centers within 3GPP domain or could be hosted by 3rd party data application providers that could be outside of the mobile operator domain. 


Current practices involve individual mobile operators negotiating agreements with data application providers resulting in proprietary additional functionalities in 3GPP networks which results in  non-standard 3GPP interfaces. With the advent of new models of services delivery like cloud computing and Application Stores, it is important that the mobile operator minimises upgrades to the network  and associated backend integration. 


Also the mobile operator has the opportunity to explore various charging models in this interworking scenario with data service providers. 


Sample services/capabilities that mobile operators can provide to data application providers are customised billing/charging, promotional services, group addressing capabilities, identity services, statistics, etc.


This WI proposes to enable the mobile operator to use enhanced functionalities and interfaces to meet the needs of the rapidly changing industry models. The WI is expected to develop requirements and architectural frameworks for authentication, authorization, policy, charging, mobility and session continuity aspects for various interworking scenarios.


The existing schemes for authentication/authorization and charging need to be studied and updated/enhanced, when deemed necessary, by liaising with other 3GPP Working Groups/SDOs/fora in charge of them.


This WI was de-prioritised in Rel-11. The Rel-12 work will take into consideration the new TS 23.682 developed in Rel-11 (Architecture Enhancements to facilitate communications with Packet Data Networks and Applications).

What are you your thoughts on sponsored data connectivity?

xoxoxoxoxoxo  Added on 08/07/2012 - 14.00 xoxoxoxoxoxo



I had a quick discussion with Dean Bubley on twitter and here is what he thinks:

Key question is what use cases & how the biz model / sponsor interaction works. 1-800 model is a #UselessCase for example. I think tollfree/1-800 apps is a nice idea, but totally unworkable when you drill into the practicalities. There are a few corner-cases & niche exceptions (eg govt-supplied apps) but proposed case for general apps / content is a chimera. 

More details on what Dean Bubley means is on his blog post here.

The comment at the end is very interesting, summarising the hurdles that exist in providing 'Toll-free data'.

My belief is that since the operators are running out of the options in generating new revenues, they may make a compromise and find a middle ground for making the 'Sponsored-data' to work

Saturday, 12 May 2012

A Twitter discussion on 'Data Tsunami' myth




Participants:


@disruptivedean - Dean Bubley
@StevenJCrowley - Steve Crowley
@WhatTheBit - Stefan Constantine
@labboudles - Leila Abboud
@twehmeier - Thomas Wehmeier
@jamncl4 - Jonathan Morgan
@wifidave - Dave Wright



@disruptivedean: Data tsunami myth washing further out to sea: Telefonica mobile data grew 35% YoY to Q1, vs. data rev growth of 28%. http://www.telefonica.com/en/shareholders_investors/html/financyreg/resultados2012.shtml


@disruptivedean: Increasingly convinced that some cellular data growth numbers & forecasts are over-inflated - mainly to sway regulators on spectrum policy

@StevenJCrowley: Wonder how much of Telefonica lower data growth is from Spain's unusually bad economy versus normal "S curve"

@twehmeier: Did you see that shockingly unbalanced story on data traffic in FT? Pure spin. Telefonica is v representative of Euro ops. The other factor is vendors perpetuating the myth to sell their products and services

@WhatTheBit: you should do some research into operator spectrum holdings versus actual utilization, I'm sure the results would B shocking

@twehmeier: The other factor is vendors perpetuating the myth to sell their products and services

@disruptivedean: Don't think Spanish economy that much an issue. Growth been flattening in UK & Germany for a while - http://disruptivewireless.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/smoking-gun-i-think-o2-uk-has-falling.html


@disruptivedean: The contrast in attitude between TF corporate vs. TF Digital is striking sometimes.

@labboudles: that's interesting, is it typical of others ops numbers, ie data makes them money so stop whining abt capex/google?

@disruptivedean: It's certainly true for VF in Europe - they have faster data rev growth than traffic growth. Caps/tiers fixed the problem


@disruptivedean: Basic pricing tiers/caps + user-controlled WiFi have "fixed" the problem. Has undermined need for more complex solutions & tech

@twehmeier: Indeed. amazes me how little emphasis placed on imprtnce of pricing. Next prob will be working out how to bring traffic back

@disruptivedean: Yes, especially with LTE - in some places/networks we're heading for overcapacity. Not quite as bad as fibre in 2001, but scary

@twehmeier: And that will likely lead to more naive pricing models that only serve to accelerate self-commoditisation of value of data!


@twehmeier: Telenor firsy reported faster data revenue growth versus traffic back in 2010. And that's in some of the world's most advanced smartphone and MBB markets...

@labboudles: thought so since that was case in France, but admit had not looked at all ops trends

@disruptivedean: Also beware that some operators (eg AT&T) have started adding in WiFi hotspot traffic to bump up the numbers

@twehmeier: Shameless lobbying....

@labboudles: where is there overcapacity?! Places where LTE has been built and already used?

@twehmeier: imagine a market where Wi-Fi is ubiquitous and all operators deploy LTE on top of pre-existing HSPA/HSPA+. And remember average utilisation of European 3G networks is typically only in the 35-40% range and pretty steady

@labboudles: that's a ways off in real world though


@labboudles: ok that I just don't understand, then why is my user experience of mobile Internet so crap n London, Paris ?

@disruptivedean: Depends how you calculate it. Bear in mind many MNOs don't "light up" all spectrum initially, but add extra capacity


@disruptivedean: Plenty of other bottlenecks - most notable is poor coverage, could be backhaul, stuff in core network, even DNS etc


@disruptivedean: Congestion often caused by too much signalling (setting up/tearing down IP conxns), not sheer data "tonnage"

@jamncl4: Actually I think we are also seeing the impact of the shift from laptops to tablets and smartphones


@jamncl4: People can't afford multiple data plans so they shift from laptop to Smartphones which inherently use less data

@wifidave: How did you arrive at 35%/28%? I found 15.4% YoY in "mobile data revenue", and couldn't find traffic figures.

@jamncl4: Same with tablets which also pull usage away from laptop except most tablets are wifi only


@jamncl4: WiFi is in enough places that I can't justify two data plans so I stick to wifi tablet and data pla smartphone

@disruptivedean: It's on page 6 of the results presentation, showing rapid convergence of traffic & revenue growth

@jamncl4: The smartphone will take a few years to catch up to laptops in terms of data requirements thus "slowdown" growth

@disruptivedean: Bear in mind rising % of people don't have "plans" but use PAYG for data. But yes, dongle traffic falling, phone rising

@jamncl4: But Smartphone require higher signaling than laptops due to apps & power saving techniques;massive signal growth

@disruptivedean: Tablet/laptop substitution (or not) largely irrelevant as both are generally WiFi-only & will most likely stay that way

@jamncl4: Multi device plans could be interesting moving forward and there impact on this


@jamncl4: I disagree. Majority of traffic has come from laptops in past so more wifi & tablets reduces the traffic

@wifidave: @disruptivedean OK, I see. The 27% is a subset of the 15.4%.

@jamncl4: I think the real issue is that people don't want to pay for 2 plans & the 1 plan in general is Smartphone for now. Multidevice PAYG plans will be interesting on their impact.

@wifidave: Ponder this > Assuming TF #s are cell data, they represent a mobile data Traffic/Rev YoY growth ratio of 1.29:1 . The same ratio for #ChinaMobile in Q4'11 was 1.28:1 . For #ChinaMobile, cell data grew at 56.1% traffic and 43.5% revenues.


@wifidave: ATT says that "wireless data traffic" doubled in 2011 from 2010. (http://www.attinnovationspace.com/innovation/story/a7781181). but elsewhere report that their Wi-Fi traffic increased 550% in Q4'11. (http://www.vision2mobile.com/news/2012/01/wif.aspx). all while wireless data revenues only grew 19.4% YoY in Q4'11 (http://www.att.com/gen/press-room?pid=22304&cdvn=news&newsarticleid=33762)


@wifidave: The real growth (337% and 550% for CM and ATT) is in Wi-Fi as Dean said. Not adding much to rev yet.

@disruptivedean: Absolutely agree more WiFi = less "big device mobile data traffic". Unconvinced it matters if big device = laptop/tablet


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Thursday, 19 April 2012

The concept of 'PDP Context Parking'




Access Point Name (APN) identifies a packet data network (PDN) that is configured on and accessible from the packet core (eg. GGSN). APNs are similar to a DNS name of the packet core and its composed of 2 parts.

• The APN Network Identifier which defines the external network or service that the user wishes to connect to via the packet core.
• The APN Operator Identifier which defines in which mobile network the packet core is located.

The APN that a mobile user is allowed to use is either programmed in the phone, or it could be sent over the air (OTA) via SMS. If an invalid APN is used then the PDP context request would be rejected with Invalid APN cause.

The networks of today are capable of handling any APN name and in fact recently I read some operator will allow any APN name to be used (PS: I cant remember details so please feel free to add link in the comment if you know). The reason for any APNs is that users use mobiles that were used on other networks which would have their APN settings, so the operator allows them to use any APN and then send OTA message to provide new settings.

The problem starts on these devices of today, even though you may say that you dont want to use operator data (especially while roaming), it still uses data and if the user does not have a good data plan then he may end up running a huge bill. See a discussion on this topic here and here.

From operators point of view, once they have sent setting OTA then they dont send it again. The users have come up with a workaround that they can use an invalid APN name and that would not connect to the operators network and incur data costs. The problem is that since the PDP Context request was now rejected, the device retries it when the device tries to use data again (mostly when there is no WiFi due to user being out and background apps are still running). This can cause loads of unnecessary signalling (for establishing PDP context).

In a situation like this, Martin Prosek from Telefonica, Czech Republic, mentioned that they have introduced 'PDP Context Parking'. They accept the PDP context request even though the APN is invalid but redirect the user to a default page where the user has many options like name of correct APN for someone using wrong APN by mistake, possiblity to buy 'bolt-ons' so they can use data over the mobile network and in some cases simply some free data allowance so that the users can get a feel of mobile data usage. This helped Telefonica O2, Czech Republic, reduce signaling and improve pdp connection success rate

I think this is a great idea and if someone has more information on this or personal experience, please feel free to add.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

The intelligent pipe and next-generation billing


Presented by Marc Price, VP of Technology, CTO Americas in the LTE North America 2011 conference

See also the earlier posts on Policy and Charging here and here.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

How Mobile Broadband users use their data allowance


Interesting picture of what MBB users use their data allowance on. Interesting to see that Social Networking is far popular in the North America whereas Real-time entertainment is much more popular in APAC. It is understandable that the downstream Real-time entertainment would contain of VOD services like Youtube and Hulu but not sure what Upstream would consist of. 

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Shared Data plans anyone?

Shared plans are common in business tariffs but for some reason operators are reluctant to offer them on personal plans. With multiple devices becoming a common place, I would rather prefer to have a single plan that can be used across multiple devices rather than paying for a plan for each device.

From operator point of view, I think they would get a higher loyalty rate if they allow this as it means that if you want to change an operator, you would have to change SIM from multiple devices and some of these devices may be locked to an operator or may not work on other operators, etc.

An Infonetics Research report is embedded below:

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Revenues vs Network Investments

Nice Pic summarising the Network investments vs Revenue for Voice and Data. Click on Pic to enlarge.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

LIPA, SIPTO and IFOM Comparison

Enhancing macro radio access network capacity by offloading mobile video traffic will be essential for mobile communications industry to reduce its units costs to match its customer expectations. Two primary paths to achieve this are the use of femtocells and WiFi offloading. Deployment of large scale femtocells for coverage enhancement has been a limited success so far. Using them for capacity enhancements is a new proposition for mobile operators. They need to assess the necessity of using them as well as decide how to deploy them selectively for their heavy users.

Three alternative architectures that are being standardized by 3GPP have various advantages and shortcomings. They are quite distinct in terms of their dependencies and feasibility. Following table is a summary of comparison among these three approaches for traffic offloading.


Looking at the relative strengths of the existing traffic offload proposals, it is difficult to pick an outright winner. SIPTO macro-network option is the most straight-forward and most likely to be implemented rather quickly. However, it doesn't solve the fundamental capacity crunch in the radio access network. Therefore its value is limited to being an optimization of the packet core/transport network. Some other tangible benefits would be reduction in latency to increase effective throughput for customers as well as easier capacity planning since transport facilities don't need to be dimensioned for large number of radio access network elements anymore.

LIPA provides a limited benefit of allowing access to local premises networks without having to traverse through the mobile operator core. Considering it is dependent on the implementation of femtocell, this benefit looks rather small and has no impact on the macro radio network capacity. If LIPA is extended to access to Internet and Intranet, then the additional offload benefit would be on the mobile operator core network similar to the SIPTO macro-network proposal. Femtocell solves the macro radio network capacity crunch. However, the pace of femtocell deployments so far doesn't show a significant momentum. LIPA's market success will be limited until cost of femtocell ownership issues are resolved and mobile operators decide why (coverage or capacity) to deploy femtocells.

IFOM is based upon a newer generation of Mobile IP that has been around as a mobile VPN technology for more than 10 years. Unfortunately success record of mobile IP so far has been limited to enterprise applications. It hasn't become a true consumer-grade technology. Introduction of LTE may change this since many operators spearheading LTE deployments are planning to use IPv6 in handsets and adopt a dual-stack approach of having both IPv4 and IPv6 capability. Since many WiFi access networks will stay as IPv4, DSMIPv6 will be the best tunneling mechanism to hide IPv6 from the access network. Having dual-stack capability will allow native access to both legacy IPv4 content and native IPv6 content from major companies such as Google, Facebook, Yahoo, etc. without the hindrance of Network Address Translation (NAT). Considering the popularity of smartphones such as iPhone, Blackberry and various Android phones, they will be the proving ground for the feasibility of DSMIPv6.

Source of the above content: Whitepaper - Analysis of Traffic Offload : WiFi to Rescue


Wednesday, 24 November 2010

IP Flow Mobility and Seamless Offload (IFOM)

Unlike LIPA or SIPTO that are dependent on upstream network nodes to provide the optimization of routing different types of traffic, IFOM relies on the handset to achieve this functionality. It explicitly calls for the use of simultaneous connections to both macro network, e.g., LTE, UMTS and WiFi. Therefore, IFOM, unlike LIPA and SIPTO, is truly a release 10-onward only technology and it is not applicable for user terminals pre-Release 10. IFOM is being specified via 3GPP TS 23.261 [1]. Following diagram shows the interconnectivity model for IFOM capable UE.


IFOM uses an Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Request For Comments (RFC), Dual Stack Mobile IPv6 (DSMIPv6) (RFC-5555) [2].

Since IFOM is based on DSMIPv6, it is independent of the macro network flavor. It can be used for a green-field LTE deployment as well as a legacy GPRS packet core.

Earlier on we looked at the mobile network industry attempts of integration between packet core and WLAN networks. Common characteristic of those efforts was the limitation of the UE, its ability to use one radio interface at a time. Therefore, in earlier interworking scenarios UE was forced to use/select one radio network and make a selection to move to an alternative radio for all its traffic. Today many smartphones, data cards with connection managers already have this capability, i.e., when the UE detects the presence of an alternative access network such as a home WiFi AP, it terminates the radio bearers on the macro network and initiates a WiFi connection. Since WiFi access network and packet core integration is not commonly implemented, user typically loses her active data session and re-establishes another one.

Similarly access to some operator provided services may not be achieved over WiFi. Considering this limitation both iPhone IOS and Android enabled smartphones to have simultaneous radio access but limited this functionality to sending MMS over the macro network while being connected to WiFi only.

IFOM provides simultaneous attachment to two alternate access networks. This allows fine granularity of IP Flow mobility between access networks. Using IFOM, it will be possible to select particular flows per UE and bind them to one of two different tunnels between the UE and the DSMIPv6 Home Agent (HA) that can be implemented within a P-GW or GGSN. DSMIPv6 requires a dual-stack (IPv4 or IPv6) capable UE. It is independent of the access network that can be IPv4 or IPv6.

[1] 3GPP TS 23.261: IP flow mobility and seamless Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) offload; Stage 2

[2] RFC-5555: Mobile IPv6 Support for Dual Stack Hosts and Routers

[3] 3GPP TS 23.327: Mobility between 3GPP-Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) interworking and 3GPP systems

Content Source: Analysis of Traffic Offload : WiFi to Rescue