Integrating Wi-Fi RANs into the Mobile Packet Core

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Executive Summary

There has been a great deal of interest of late in using Wi-Fi to offload traffic from heavily congested mobile networks. Early deployments consisted of building a parallel Wi-Fi offload network that takes traffic directly to the Internet. The mobile network operator would implement a proprietary client of some kind that would manage the offload function. Many subscribers have implemented their own offload strategy by selecting Wi-Fi when it's available. Now the industry is shifting its focus toward integrating Wi-Fi RANs into the mobile packet core. In this approach, Wi-Fi would take its place alongside 3G/LTE as a cornerstone technology in the mobile world.

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