Telekom Austria Weighs WiFi Offload

Mobile broadband is cheaper than fixed-line access in Austria, a fact that keeps Telekom Austria AG (NYSE: TKA; Vienna: TKA) on its toes, even though it is enjoying the "exponential growth" of mobile data traffic, according to CEO Hannes Ametsreiter.

Ametsreiter, who spoke with LRTV this week in Barcelona, says the carrier is looking to use WiFi offloading as a way to ease its capacity strain as the use of mobile data increases. WiFi offload, sometimes called local IP breakout, diverts Internet traffic from the mobile core and sends it directly to the Internet. (See MWC Preview: Data Offload to the Rescue.)

The Telekom Austria chief says his company's HSPA+ network, now with downlink speeds capable of up to 28 Mbit/s, will be reaching speeds of up to 42 Mbit/s this year. The full interview is below:

— Phil Harvey, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

Anjan Ghosal 12/5/2012 | 4:42:22 PM
re: Telekom Austria Weighs WiFi Offload

This article is a little bit confusing as it seems to imply that 'breakout' and 'wifi offload' are the same.

Actually they are two different ways of achieveing the same end ie. offload traffic from the carrier's core network. In the case of 'breakout' you place a 'breakout box' between the RAN and the SGSN, discriminate the traffic at that point and route internet specific traffic directly to the internet instead of routing it through the SGSN/GGSN - saving the carrier core network element capacity.

This is NOT Wifi Offload! Wifi offload is the process by which smart phones with Wifi capability can latch on to the Wifi network and access the internet via that interface. This technology not only frees up core network element capacity (SGSN/GGSN), but it also frees up radio spectrum - which is arguably more precious to the carrier.

I wish the article would do a better job identifying which approach Telekom Austria is planning to take.

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Anjan Ghosal 12/5/2012 | 4:42:18 PM
re: Telekom Austria Weighs WiFi Offload


Thanks for the clarification. If there is a 'client' in the handset then it certainly looks like WiFi offload. And, you are correct. Coming to think of it, the WiFi Offload Gateway can also work as a 'breakout' box where it bypasses the GGSN and dumps the traffic directly to the Internet.

The two major annoucements at MWC on the 'breakout box' approach from Juniper and Tellabs did not have a WiFi component (unless I missed something!) and they primarily focused on using a breakout box between the RAN and the SGSN.

Thanks for the clarification and appreciate your insight.&nbsp;


Michelle Donegan 12/5/2012 | 4:42:18 PM
re: Telekom Austria Weighs WiFi Offload

Hi Anjan,

In the interview, Ametsreiter talked about using WiFi offload and described it as installing a client so that the user can have seamless handover between fixed and mobile networks. I don't know yet whether Telekom Austria is deploying a "breakout box" in the network.

I see the distinction you make between breakout and WiFi offload. I think of local IP breakout, WiFi and femto offload as being pretty much the same things because I thought the IP breakout could happen at the femto or WiFi access point at customer premises. &nbsp;

Definitely something to look at more closely!


freetoair 12/5/2012 | 4:42:17 PM
re: Telekom Austria Weighs WiFi Offload

read 3GPP standards work on Local Area Access (LIPA) and Selected Traffic Offload (SIPTO) as well as those on HNB if you want to understand where the industry is going...

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