Wi-Fi and cellular integration: From Wi-Fi offload to HetNets (2014)

The choice for mobile operators is not whether to have a Wi-Fi strategy or not, but in which of the many available ways they should leverage Wi-Fi – as an access technology, a revenue-generating tool, and a new service creation opportunity. This is where most of the debate and uncertainties are today. How can operators maximize Wi-Fi benefits and manage the challenges that come from an interface that has to be shared with whoever wants to use it? How much investment and effort should operators allocate to Wi-Fi, knowing this will detract from their commitment to 4G? How effectively will Wi-Fi relieve traffic pressure at peak hours? In this report, we skip the resolved issue of Wi-Fi’s relevance, and get right to an exploration of these topics – and how (and when) Wi-Fi and cellular networks can go beyond side-by-side coexistence to become fully integrated into the mobile radio access network (RAN) and core.

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