Wi-Fi offloading reduces network congestion and may have saved lives in Japan.
Wi-Fi offload has received prime interest during the Mobile World Congress this year, with operators announcing that Wi-Fi is crucial for handling the traffic demand – especially smartphone traffic.
AT&T announced that it will expand its existing Wi-Fi network in key markets and seems likely to follow T-Mobile’s Wi-Fi calling strategy having already achieved mass market appeal with 5 million subscribers.
Jennifer Svennson, CEO of VertiGO Solutions, A DC-based communications advisory firm that has helped the DoD and DHS develop mission-critical solutions based largely upon T-Mobile’s Wi-Fi roaming, commented, “market penetration of WiFi will further enhance the ability to build communications systems with greater availability and resiliency.” Svensson went on to comment “a recent implementation of this technology, in place during the Japanese earthquake, not only overcame network congestion issues during the crisis, but may have saved lives.”
Bridgewater, Cisco and Ruckus Wireless are among the vendors that have announced carrier-grade products that integrate cellular with Wi-Fi networks to enable seamless connectivity between the two.