Monday, February 13, 2012

Alcatel-Lucent Extends Carrier Wi-Fi with lightRadio

Alcatel-Lucent introduced a lightRadio Wi-Fi solution that combines its strengths in the radio access network and IP routing to enable high-capacity, seamless and secure Wi-Fi in mobile broadband networks. Whereas carriers today typically use Wi-Fi hotspots merely as a data offload tool, Alcatel-Lucent said its goal is to integrate Wi-Fi directly into small-cell base stations and cellular networks.

For the consumer, this will enable a seamless handover to the best available wireless broadband connection without having to login, worry about payments schemes, or even be aware of the shift. This is done in three ways: by using software that identifies and connects people to a ‘trusted’ network automatically; by introducing new capabilities into service provider networks to manage the transition between Wi-Fi and cellular networks; and by integrating by integrating Wi-Fi directly into small-cell base stations and cellular networks.

Key components of Alcatel-Lucent’s lightRadio Wi-Fi solution include:

Secure Wi-Fi gateway functionality has been introduced into Alcatel-Lucent’s IP portfolio on the 7750 Service Router. This enables service providers to offer large-scale Wi-Fi services in conjunction with fixed and mobile broadband services from a single platform, reducing cost and complexity.

New software called the Automatic Network Discovery and Selection Function (ANDSF) has been added to Alcatel-Lucent’s policy manager, the 5780 Dynamic Services Controller. This allows the automatic selection of the ‘best’ network connection based on criteria such as service type, subscription type and network congestion levels, helping to improve the overall customer experience.

Integrated Wi-Fi as an option on Alcatel-Lucent’s lightRadio multi-standard Femtocell and Metrocell systems. Metrocells provide additional network capacity and coverage in dense urban centers, airports or busy shopping malls, and Femtocells are ‘personal base stations’ for increasing coverage and capacity in homes or offices. Integrating Wi-Fi into Alcatel-Lucent’s already comprehensive Femtocell portfolio will further increase Alcatel-Lucent’s global leadership in this technology.

Wim Sweldens, President of Alcatel-Lucent’s Wireless division said: “With lightRadio Wi-Fi, Alcatel-Lucent gives service providers new options to meet consumers’ fast-growing broadband requirements. Extending our groundbreaking lightRadio portfolio, service providers will be able to build closer relationships with their customers by delivering seamless high-speed broadband connections, wherever they are, using LTE and Wi-Fi networks. For subscribers, this approach provides the peace of mind they want when accessing the Internet wherever they go.�?

Alcatel-Lucent is collaborating with several major Wi-Fi access point companies to ensure interoperability and is integrating Motorola Solutions’ high-performance Wi-Fi solution and Qualcomm Atheros Wi-Fi technology into its multi-standard Metrocells to ensure that lightRadio Wi-Fi provides our customers with the best Wi-Fi solution, at a competitive price. Ecosystem partners include Aerohive Networks, ARRIS, Aruba Networks, BelAir Networks, Meraki, and Ubee.

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