Only over the last few years have network operators started to embrace cellular and Wi-Fi as complementary technologies in delivering the ever-growing volume of data through offloading cellular users onto Wi-Fi. InterDigital’s converged gateway solution is now capturing further the synergies between cellular and Wi-Fi by using advanced operator-controlled policies to combine, split, or handover data streams based on contextual parameters, such as channel conditions, content, user preferences, subscription plans, etc.
A smartphone can receive data over both cellular and Wi-Fi networks simultaneously, and the converged gateway can aggregate the two connections to improve quality of service or segregate different applications over different radios. For example, a subscriber could watch a streaming video using the higher bandwidth of Wi-Fi, but use 3G with its better security and billing for the authentication and payment for services. Alternatively, two mediocre channels can be combined to provide higher throughput and reliability to a user. Or you could seamlessly handover from Wi-Fi at home to femtocell to macrocell as you walk out of the door.
“We are very pleased to work with Picochip on integrating our converged gateway solution onto their picoXcell(TM) platform. Picochip is a leader in femtocell technology and this collaborative effort raises the well-known advantages of Wi-Fi and femtocells to a completely new level,” said James J. Nolan, Executive Vice President of Research and Development for InterDigital. “This joint development and demonstration aligns very well with our work to solve the bandwidth crunch and deliver more reliable wireless networks, a richer multimedia experience and new mobile broadband capabilities.”
“Heterogenous networks or ‘HetNets’ are an exciting area of development. They feature in 3GPP roadmaps, but usually in the context of integrating 3G with 4G technologies. InterDigital’s innovations extend that approach by integrating licensed cellular services with unlicensed Wi-Fi. Demand for mobile data is already growing massively. This trend will accelerate even further with new services like iCloud and Chromebooks, making it all the more important for carriers to best manage their customers’ connectivity. This demonstration has shown that operators have multiple opportunities to do that better,” added Rupert Baines, VP Marketing at Picochip.
InterDigital’s converged gateway solution runs on Picochip’s industry-standard picoXcell platform. It integrates 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi with 21Mbps Release 7 HSPA+ and will work with all of Picochip’s “small cell” products, scaling from cost-effective four-user residential systems to high performance 32-user “metro cells” for public access and dense urban deployment.