Light Reading

Ericsson Gets Busy With BelAir

Michelle Donegan
LR Mobile News Analysis
Michelle Donegan
10/17/2012
50%
50%
Repost This

Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has been busy with its BelAir Networks Inc. acquisition since the deal closed in April, racking up a significant Wi-Fi contract, unveiling new products and revealing more about its plans for integrating the wireless technology with its cellular tradition. (See Ericsson Completes BelAir Acquisition and Ericsson Adds Wi-Fi With BelAir Buy .)

The Swedish vendor has landed a carrier Wi-Fi contract in India with the only operator to hold a nationwide 4G license, Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) , reports Light Reading's sister publication Light Reading India. Such a deal is significant not only because of its potential size but also because it shows how Ericsson's new Wi-Fi capabilities have resulted in new business for the company. Indeed, Ericsson was not RIL's 4G base station supplier as the operator chose Samsung Corp. for that equipment. (See Ericsson Gets RIL's WiFi Deal and Samsung Gets The Coveted RIL's LTE Deal.)

And at the Broadband World Forum in Amsterdam on Tuesday, Ericsson announced the first new products since it acquired the Canadian carrier-grade Wi-Fi company -- a new Wi-Fi access point and network controller that is designed for deployments in stadiums to support wireless access during events like sports matches or concerts. (See Ericsson Unveils Stadium-Optimized Wi-Fi.)

But Ericsson has a vision for its Wi-Fi portfolio that goes beyond updating the access point products with better interference mitigation, video optimization and self-organizing network (SON) features. Ericsson will continue to develop BelAir's products in this way, but it also wants to bring together Wi-Fi and 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) -based cellular technologies so that smartphone and tablet users can move between these different wireless access networks without losing coverage. (See Wi-Fi 'Wild West' Challenges Carriers.)

In a recent interview with Light Reading Mobile, Thomas Norén, VP and head of radio networks at Ericsson, talked about the company's goals for this kind of integration.

Ericsson aims to have some proprietary features available next year that will enable handover between Wi-Fi and 3G or Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks and it is also working with standards bodies to establish specifications for the handover techniques, said Norén. The features will be proprietary because "the standards are not quite ready," he added.

One possibility for this standardization could be a combination of the 3GPP's Access Network Discovery and Selection Function (ANDSF) specification, which allows operators to set policies for when to use various access networks, with the Wi-Fi Alliance 's Hotspot 2.0 work, which enables Wi-Fi roaming.

Ultimately, according to Norén, "a device will be told to measure which access is the best for me, and in general, which is the best access for any user at any given time."

For Ericsson, this potential scenario would be the result of the combination of its own competency in 3GPP technologies with a Wi-Fi access controller. "We have a control node in radio networks … by building Wi-Fi control software on the node controller … we're able to combine the unique Wi-Fi capability from BelAir and systems we already had in house," said Norén.

"We think the real value of Wi-Fi will come when we've integrated the 3GPP technologies," he said. But don't just take Ericsson's head of radio network's word for it, his boss CTO Ulf Ewaldsson also talked about plans for "real handover capability" with Wi-Fi in a Light Reading TV interview at the Broadband World Forum in Amsterdam: The Lowdown on Service Provider SDN. (Ewaldsson talks about Wi-Fi around the 3:30 mark.)

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Flash Poll
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Eyes Big Technology Shifts

4|16|14   |   03:02   |   (4) comments


US cable engineers are facing a lot of heavy lifting in the coming years, notes Light Reading Cable/Video Practice Leader Alan Breznick.
LRTV Custom TV
Maximizing Customer Experience & Assuring Service Delivery in an IP World

4|15|14   |   4:57   |   (0) comments


Steven Shalita, VP of Marketing, NetScout Systems, Inc., discusses the challenges cable/MSO operators face in assuring the delivery of new IP-based services. Key points include the value of proactively managing performance, and using rich analytics and operational intelligence to better understand service and usage trends, make smarter business decisions and ...
LRTV Documentaries
Bye-Bye DVD: Consumers Embrace Digital Video

4|10|14   |   04:17   |   (7) comments


Veteran video analyst Colin Dixon, founder and principal analyst of nScreenMedia, says research shows 56% are using digital video already.
LRTV Documentaries
Video: TW Cable Puts Multicast Gateways to the Test

4|8|14   |   04:13   |   (1) comment


Tom Gonder, a chief architect at Time Warner Cable, explains how its trial of multicast gateways is impacting IP-based video plans.
LRTV Custom TV
Managing & Monetizing Big Data in Operator Environments

4|7|14   |     |   (1) comment


At Mobile World Congress, Gigamon's Director of Service Provider Solutions, Andy Huckridge, and Heavy Reading Analyst Sarah Wallace discuss the 'big data' issues facing carriers and operators today.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Data Center Energy – Build Your Data Center in a Modular Way

4|7|14   |   2:13   |   (0) comments


Dr. Fang Liangzhou, VP Network Energy Product Line, shared his thoughts about the challenges for data centers during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Agile Network Solution – An Overview of Huawei's Agile Network Solution

4|7|14   |   2:31   |   (0) comments


Ajay Gupta, Director of Product Marketing, Networking Product Line, gives an overview of the Agile Network Solutions during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s eLTE Voice Trunking, Video and Data Applied for Railways

4|7|14   |   1:38   |   (0) comments


Gottfried Winter is the Sales Director at Funkwerk, a German specialist in GSM-r terminals and a long-time partner of Huawei. At CeBIT 2014, Winter talks to Light Reading about this partnership and the integration of enhanced voice trunking, video and data functions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
LeaseWeb Speaks Highly of Huawei's Datacenter Products

4|7|14   |   1:37   |   (0) comments


Rene Olde Olthof, Operations Director LeaseWeb, talks about the next data center transformation during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Documentaries
Comcast: Reshaping the Cable Network Architecture

4|3|14   |   07:11   |   (8) comments


Shamim Akhtar, Comcast's architect and senior director of network strategy, explains why the cable company is moving to a more distributed network architecture.
LRTV Custom TV
VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger at Mobile World Congress

4|1|14   |   3:41   |   (0) comments


VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger speaks to Heavy Reading about the value of virtualization spanning from the data center to service provider networks to mobile devices.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Analysts' Impressions of Huawei SoftCOM at ONS 2014

4|1|14   |   1:11   |   (0) comments


After visiting the Huawei booth at ONS, Lee Doyle of Doyle Research gives his appraisal of Huawei's SoftCOM solution.
Hot Topics
BlackBerry Invests in Healthcare IT Startup
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/15/2014
Volvo: AT&T HSPA+ Can Drive My Car
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/16/2014
T-Mobile Petitions Operators to Kill Overages
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/14/2014
Cisco & VMware Are Apple & Google of SDN
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 4/14/2014
Mobile Apps Susceptible to Heartbleed, Too
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/14/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed