Tuesday, 07 June 2016 01:02

Siemens: integrating Wi-Fi into 4G enhanced core networks of Tier-1 carriers

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A German tier-1 network operator using "Siemens Convergence Creators technology", has launched Wi-Fi Calling for mobile devices, something that is quickly gaining momentum in markets worldwide.

The rollout is the largest of several for Siemens Convergence Creators, as the popular Wi-Fi Calling option is quickly gaining momentum in markets worldwide.

The company says that further launches of its Wi-Fi Calling based services are planned by British and Finnish operators in 2016 alone, adding to what Siemens boasts is "a list of successful and still expanding deployments by big US operators".

Wi-Fi calling is also known as VoWiFi, or Voice over Wi-Fi, and allows ordinary voice calls to be routed over Wi-Fi, including a handover between 4G and Wi-Fi networks.

Siemens Convergence Creators' says its "AAA (Authentication, Authorisation, and Accounting)" product "provides standard authentication and mobility control for all market relevant Wi-Fi gateways".

Wi-Fi and SIM based authentication

Siemens says that "being well into the deployment lifecycle of 4G network technology and getting ready for 5G requirements, the mobile operators' approach between main releases is all about integrating access networks".

It adds that "while carriers typically use untrusted public or partner Wi-Fi networks today where an encrypted data tunnel between the user device and the mobile network core is established to perform all IP communications, future designs may also include trusted, carrier-operated Wi-Fi networks or the mobile operators' fixed network units".

Naturally, the company wants you to know that its AAA product "already supports this functionality today and device vendors wisely include VoWiFi capabilities in more and more relevant devices they are introducing nowadays".

Designed as centralised authentication element in mobile and fixed-mobile convergence networks, Siemens Convergence Creators' AAA says it "goes hand in hand with the company's Policy Control (PCRF) product Siemens Policy Manager which uses the same platform and framework".

Future enhancements and use cases are thus promised as implementable "into this AAA solution on short notice without compromising telco-grade requirements whatsoever".

Roland Steiner, vice-president LTE Business Unit Siemens Convergence Creators, said: "Advantages for mobile operators using our AAA include having Wi-Fi as an alternative mobile network, reducing the load on their 4G LTE networks, and improving indoor coverage and customer loyalty.

“Voice over Wi-Fi is proof that investments into an All-IP infrastructure provide substantial advantages in a reasonable timeframe and we're proud to be an integral part of it."

More information about Siemens Convergence Creators' Wi-Fi Calling can be found here.

Siemens Convergence Creators itself is "headquartered in Vienna, [and] provides its customers with innovative products, turnkey solutions and services in the fields of communication networks, service and customer management, public safety and security, multimedia infotainment, as well as space technology".

The company says its "presence in emerging and mature markets like Central and Eastern Europe, Germany, USA, India, and China together with their powerful network of partners provide a strong basis for activities all over the world".

You can find out more info about Siemens Convergence Creators here

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One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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