Date Added: May 2012
Operators are compelled to explore options to meet ever rising mobile Internet data demand - including extending existing 3G networks, rolling out LTE macro networks, adding LTE small cells or integrating Wi-Fi into the mobile core for data offload. Each option provides either near-term or long-term alleviation to operators' bandwidth predicament. Operators may deploy any combination of these solutions simultaneously or separately. Wi-Fi's relatively low cost, simple architecture and usage of non-licensed spectrum makes it an attractive data solution for mobile operators to fulfill consumers' immediate data demand. Pioneering mobile operators have started to roll out hotspots in large numbers and integrate Wi-Fi with their core networks, in addition to other solutions mentioned above.