Wi-Fi OffloadingWi-Fi Offloading is the use of complementary technologies for delivering data originally targeted for cellular networks. For subscribers, it is controlling costs and ensuring higher bandwidth availability. For operators, it is easing network congestion. Subscribers prefer using Wi-Fi, as there is limited data; better Wi-Fi connections; some features only work on Wi-Fi; no 4G; and no cell service in the area. Subscribers use Wi-Fi to check emails; do work; download apps; get updates; listen to music; and watch videos. The main complementary technologies used for mobile data offloading are femtocells and WI-FI. Femtocells use standard cellular radio technologies, so any mobile device is capable of participating in the data offloading process. However, it is difficult, both technically and commercially, to mass deploy femtocell access points. Wi-Fi technology is different to cellular, but most Internet capable devices already have Wi-Fi capability. Millions of Wi-Fi networks exist mainly in congested areas such as airports, hotels and cities and it is growing rapidly.
Machine-to-Machine (M2M) APN ManagementM2M connects machines, devices and appliances wirelessly to the Internet. M2M is an integral part of the Internet of Things (IoT) and brings several benefits as it has a wide range of applications such as telemetry, automation, logistics, Smart Grid & Cities and health, mostly for monitoring but also for control purposes. Modern M2M communication is a system of networks that transmits data to personal appliances. M2M does not have a standardized connected device platform and many systems are built to be task or device-specific. As M2M becomes more pervasive, vendors will agree upon standards for device-to-device communications. Key components are wireless devices with embedded sensors, access to cellular, Wi-Fi, WLAN etc. and software to interpret data and make decisions.
Converged Authentication ServicesAuthentication is the act of confirming the truth of an attribute of a single piece of data or entity. It is closely associated with Authorization (verifying permissions) and Access Control (controlling access). RADIUS is a de facto industry standard for AAA. The top 3 reasons why operators pursue authentication, in order of importance, are compliance, the current systems are hard to manage, outdated or unreliable and security (authentication to the device/network, data encryption etc.). Network convergence refers to the provision of telephone, video and data services within a single network. It can be converged networks and platforms with common standards and protocols; converged services within a single network; and market convergence such as subscriber conveniences and entertainment like video-on-demand, interactive television etc. The top 3 reasons why operator pursue converged networks, in order of importance, are combining network infrastructure (reduce costs), enhancing applications (increase revenue) and combining support staff (reduce costs).
Policy ControlPolicy control is technology that enables the definition and application of business and operational rules in telecoms networks. Other terms include PCRF, PCEF and PCC. Policies or rules may be employed in the network for traffic management or to manage subscriber credit (who gets credit, how credit is managed etc.).
Diameter Routing Agent
Diameter is a protocol that defines a policy protocol used by clients to perform policy, AAA and resource control. This allows a single server to handle policies for many services.
Compared to RADIUS, Diameter introduced many improvements in different aspects and came as a result of developments to eliminate RADIUS limitations. Diameter was designed as a peer-to-peer architecture whilst keeping the client/server concept in place.
Diameter uses TCP and SCTP for AAA functionality instead of UDP used by RADIUS. This means logic for detection of communication problems is not included in the Diameter protocol itself.
3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) enhances Diameter functionality even further. In addition, vendors can apply their own standards via attribute-value pairs (AVPs).