Light Reading
Ericsson's Wi-Fi embrace has spawned a big equipment contract, new products and a vision for roaming between Wi-Fi and cellular networks

Ericsson Gets Busy With BelAir

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

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
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Dr. Dong Sun Talks About Carriers' Digital Transformation & Huawei’s Telco OS

1|29|15   |   6:28   |   (0) comments


Dr. Dong Sun, Chief Architect of Digital Transformation Solutions at Huawei, discusses how telecom operators can become digital ecosystem enablers and deliver optimal user experiences that are in real-time, on-demand, all-online, DIY and social (ROADS).
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Chief Network Architect Talks about Network Experience & Operators’ Strategies

1|29|15   |   3:39   |   (0) comments


In the digital age, network experience has become the primary productivity especially for telecom operators. In this video, Wenshuan Dang, Huawei’s Chief Network Architect, discusses how carriers can tackle the challenge of infrastructure complexity in order to enhance business agility and improve user experience.
LRTV Documentaries
The Rise of Virtual CPE

1|27|15   |   01:38   |   (5) comments


As NFV strategies evolve from tests and trials to production telco networks, expect to hear a lot about virtual CPE (customer premises equipment) rollouts during 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
Optical Is Hot in 2015

1|23|15   |   01:56   |   (2) comments


Optical comms technology underpins the whole communications sector and there are some really hot trends set for 2015.
LRTV Custom TV
Policy Control in the Fast Lane

1|22|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


What's making policy control strategic in 2015 and beyond? Amdocs talks with Heavy Reading's Graham Finnie about the key factors driving change in the data services landscape. Find out what his policy management research reveals about the road ahead for policy control – and sign up for
LRTV Documentaries
Highlights From the 2020 Vision Executive Summit

1|21|15   |   4:33   |   (2) comments


In December 2014, Light Reading brought together telecom executives in Reykjavik, Iceland to discuss their vision for high-capacity networks through the end of the decade. The intimate, interactive meeting was set against the backdrop of Iceland's spectacular natural beauty. As one of the event's founding sponsors, Cisco's Doug Webster shared his company's ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Harmonic, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment with Huawei

1|20|15   |   5:42   |   (1) comment


At IBC, Peter Alexander, Senior Vice President & CMO at Harmonic, speaks about the growing interest in pay-TV service and its branching into multiple devices.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sony Marketing Director Olivier Bovis Discusses the Outlook for 4K and Cooperation With Huawei at IBC 2014

1|20|15   |   6:50   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Envivio, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment

1|20|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Pay-TV's Networked Future

1|20|15   |   6:29   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about the future of the pay-TV industry and its transition.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Jeff Heynen: Distributed Access Will Help MSOs Compete in the Future

1|20|15   |   2:26   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about moving to distributed access and the future trend of cable business.
LRTV Interviews
Cisco Talks Transformation

1|20|15   |   13:02   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Steve Saunders sat down with Cisco VP of Products & Solutions Marketing Doug Webster at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. They spoke about Cisco's approach to network virtualization as well as how service providers can begin to monetize high-capacity networks through the end of the decade.
Upcoming Live Events
February 5, 2015, Washington, DC
February 19, 2015, The Fairmont San Jose, San Jose, CA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 9-10, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2-3, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
Infographics
Hot Topics
Google Continues Gigabit Expansion
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 1/27/2015
Comcast Apologizes to 'A**hole' Brown
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 1/29/2015
US Ops Spend $32.5M to Bring 4G to Chicago's Subways
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 1/30/2015
Cablevision's New WiFi Try – Freewheeling Enough?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 1/26/2015
Overture Builds on NFV Foundation
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 1/27/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Weekly Executive Interview
Join us live for Light Reading's interview with Jay Samit, the newly appointed CEO of publicly traded SeaChange International Inc. With a resume that includes Sony, EMI, and Universal, Samit brings a reputation as an entrepreneur and a disruptor to his new role at the video solutions company. Hear what he has to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.