Nokia Siemens targets carriers' Wi-Fi, small-cell rollout challenges

Along with new equipment, the company will showcase software and services

By , IDG News Service |  Mobile & Wireless

The company will also showcase its capability to help service providers build and use Wi-Fi in their networks. The new set of offerings, which it will call Smart Wi-Fi, will include access points and gateways, planning and deployment services, device provisioning to bring subscribers onto Wi-Fi, and software to shift users between Wi-Fi and cellular based on policies. It will also include elements of Customer Experience Management on Demand, which in this case will let carriers offer free or automatic Wi-Fi to select users.

Industry standards for merging Wi-Fi with cellular networks are taking shape, but implementing them across the industry will take time, Ovum's Schoolar said. The key one is ANDSF (Access Network Discovery and Selection Function), part of the family of standards from 3GPP (Third-Generation Partnership Project), which oversees LTE. NSN, like some other vendors, is trying to pave the way for Wi-Fi integration among its own products in advance of the standards, Schoolar said. However, there's no reason to believe NSN is trying to circumvent the standards, and the company has said it will adopt them when it can, he said.

Also at MWC, Nokia Siemens will show off new features for its Liquid Radio Software Suites, which are designed to make 3G and 4G networks use spectrum more efficiently. New features for the software suite for GSM will cut by 35 percent the amount of spectrum needed to run a GSM network, according to NSN. The spectrum saved could be refarmed for use with LTE, the company said.

Nokia Siemens CEO Rajeev Suri said at last year's MWC that his company was preparing for subscribers to consume 1GB per user, per day, by 2020. That will require more spectrum, more efficiency and more cells, most of them small cells, Suri said. Since last year, the company has made progress coming out of a major restructuring begun in 2011. In the final quarter of last year, NSN reported a year-over-year revenue gain of 45 percent.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

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