AtÂ CONDUIT we offer 3G/LTE Wifi OffloadÂ Solution whichÂ is meant to move traffic from expensive spectrum Mobile data networks to WiFi. The Mobile handset itself prefers to connect to Wifi but only to those WiFi networks on which it has been previously authenticated. For a wide carrier grade Wifi deployment by Telcoâ€™s it is essential that users get seamless access to Outdoor WiFi and hotspots. At the same time there has to be integration between the WiFi core and the Mobile core for billing as well. The biggest challenge in Wifi Offloading is seamless authentication.
Methodologies for Wifi Offload:
Device Based Offload
In this methodology, there is no change required in the Mobile Network and neither EAP SIM cards are required. This makes this method applicable to all users and is a low cost approach for offload.In this method, Conduit Wifi provides an Mobile App for WiFi Selection and Policy management. This App based on various policy parameters intelligently switches between Mobile Data network and WiFi network. All the carriers own and approved WiFi hotspots SSID and Passwords are preloaded in the App. The App when it connects to the WiFi network, it becomes a seamless connection and with the exchange of MSISDN or IMSI through the App , the Policy server residing in the core authenticates the user. Complete usage information of the Mobile on the WiFi network is also passed on by the App to the Policy manager server which connects to the billing system for WiFi billing.It should be noted that in this method the wifi offloading is very smartly policy controlled, whereby various policies can be pushed to different types of users on when they can use WiFi which includes Quality of Service offloading as well. Examples of some policy triggers on which Device switches over to WiFi are:
- Network congestion
- Time of Day (rush hour behavior)
- Known locations
- AC Power connected
- Battery status
- Low Cellular RSSI
- Specified applications in foreground (which Apps should use WiFi only)
This is the most cost effective and SIM agnostic method for WiFi offload with the only challenge of on-boarding the Mobile App on the users device which also can be achieved by integrating the App with the Mobile Operatorâ€™s self care App. Our WiFi comes with various other features also like analytical reporting of user behavior, rich information about the WiFi availability and also WiFi Monetization of the App with advertisements.
EAP SIM Authentication Wifi Offload
In this method, the SIM Cards and Devices should support EAP / AKA SIM Authentication. The WiFi Access Points should also support 802.1x. The way the method works is that when the Mobile device connects to WiFi, it blocks all internet traffic except EAP over LAN. The user credentials are picked up from the SIM card and sent across to the WiFi access point. The AP then carries out encapsulation of the credentials and sends an EAP Authentication request on RADIUS connection to the WiFi SMP having offload platform. The SMP will then connect to the Mobile Network (SS7, MAP or Diameter) and will get the authentication parameters. The offload platform will then provide the parameters to the WiFI AP and then SIM will generate the same to have authentication match.
The EAP SIM Authentication method is not device agnostic. It needs EAP enabled SIM card as well. It also need a network deployed offload platform. Hence this seamless offload will be limited.
This is where we propose a hybrid methodology, our Device based offload can complement the EAP SIM wifiÂ offload.
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