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Blackberry Mobility Featured Article

January 13, 2010

Wireless Vendor Offers Smartphone WiFi Offload Capability

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, IP Communications Magazines

It’s common knowledge in communications circles that the boom in mobile data, attributed mainly by smartphone usage, is causing stress on wireless networks. Kineto Wireless (News - Alert) Inc. is addressing this problem with the introduction of the Smart WiFi Offload solution.

The solution, explains Steve Shaw (News - Alert), Kineto’s vice president of corporate marketing, offloads all mobile services to WiFi networks. It consists of a gateway and software, which runs on the smartphones. The software can be preloaded by the service provider or downloaded by the user.
For the consumer, Smart WiFi (News - Alert) Offload can mean better wireless coverage and performance, says Shaw. For the operator, it can result in a lighter load on the network, he says. It also can enable mobile operators to address the mobile VoIP threat by offering discounted or free WiFi calling, Shaw adds.
Other WiFi offload solutions on the market enable users to offload traffic from Internet-based sites such as YouTube (News - Alert), but those offer much more limited capabilities and don’t do as much to address consumer and operator needs, says Shaw, adding that Kineto itself has a basic WiFi offload solution. With basic WiFi offload, the user can opt to use a WiFi connection for his or her smartphone when such a network is in range, but that can drain the smartphone battery more quickly because the device’s WiFi and cell radios have to run simultaneously. For the mobile operator, basic WiFi offload does nothing to expand its network coverage and can result in Web services like Skype (News - Alert) and YouTube receiving great coverage, while the operator’s own services are presented with a lower level coverage. 
Kineto’s Smart WiFi Offload solution addresses that by delivering all mobile services over WiFi rather than the macro network. That way the cellular radio can be turned off when the smartphone is connected to WiFi, eliminating battery drain and freeing up spectrum from other users outside.

Edited by Michael Dinan

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