At the end of March New Electronics looked at the impact 5G could have on Wi-Fi and concluded that, in all likelihood, the two technologies would continue to co-exist.
According to market research, smartphone users continue to spend around 70% of their time on wi-fi networks, so the real issue around these two technologies is how users will move from Wi-Fi onto cellular seamlessly avoiding ‘deadzones’ or suffering from time lags.
“Mobolize has developed on-device data management software that significantly improves the mobile data experience,” explains JP Brocket, the company’s Senior Director of Product Management.
Mobolize’s solution is deployed on millions of Android and iOS smartphones and it cuts across the entire mobile landscape from consumers and applications to operators.
“The big issue for consumers is connectivity – if you can’t provide that, operators will see increased churn, so eliminating this is crucial,” explains Brocket. “Operators want to avoid disruption and provide more differentiated services.”
The problem of connectivity will only get worse with the arrival of 5G and Wi-Fi 6. While more devices will enjoy greater levels of connectivity additional problems will be created, such as device security, power management and throughput latency.
“While 5G, for example, will enable the delivery of new services, these will be more demanding of the operators when it comes to connectivity,” says Brocket. “5G and Wi-Fi will need to be complimentary because consumers will want their devices to work, whatever path the device takes. It’s highly likely we’ll see congestion as services transition between Wi-Fi and cellular.
“The industry has to contend with two distinct radio and backhaul systems with differing governing bodies. These are duel path problems and, to date, little has been done to achieve greater alignment. Consumers and the application developer don’t care about the network – they just want their devices and services to work.”
This is where Mobolize plays a role, by making the device and service work regardless of how it is connected.
“For the consumer there are no ‘deadzones’ using our platform, for the application provider there is a smooth transition between cellular and Wi-Fi providing seamless connectivity.”
Currently most channel bonding solutions use a server or cloud platform, creating a single point of failure.
“Mobolize, by contrast, has developed an end-point solution. Our software can be deployed on IoT devices, handsets, and because it operates independent of the cloud or server, it avoids single points of failure.”
Some operators have embedded the solution into pre-loaded service offerings – high deployment and billing loyalty apps, for example - to ensure that consumers have access to new, data heavy services.
Mobolize also provides channel load balancing, avoiding ‘deadzones’ and enabling the onload of cellular more frequently.
“But it’s not just about signal strength,” explains Brocket. “We assess the entire data path, making decisions as to where that traffic is sent, ensuring that connectivity is maintained.”
The company’s platform provides both bonding and security; bonding ensures no connectivity issues, while the secure component is unique, according to Brocket.
“Security creates overhead, slows down connectivity and drains battery. Ours doesn’t secure what already is secure, we don’t secure what’s already been encrypted, for example. We secure unsecured content, encrypt and proxy it and then send it back to either a carrier or traffic end point. Your connection is always secure and through bonding there is no disruption to data.”
This bonding technology is relatively new, launched at the end of 2018.
“We are in a space that is massively competitive with 5G and Wi-Fi deployments, growing demand for always on connectivity, and network’s looking to differentiate their offering,” concludes Brocket.