3G offload will stop video ‘killing carriers’, says Ruckus

By Sholto Macpherson on Aug 20, 2010 8:34 AM
Filed under Communications

WiFi to take excess load from 3G networks.

Offloading mobile traffic to WiFi networks is a key strategy for saving carriers' overwhelmed 3G networks, said Ruckus' Carl Jefferys, sales manager for Australia and New Zealand.

The proliferation of smartphones, netbooks and tablets was creating enormous demand for video, said Jefferys. "It's killing carriers. The 3G network wasn't designed to handle the requirements of YouTube. Most carriers will admit that they are struggling to meet the throughput."

Spikes in video consumption, often around news events such as the death of rock star Michael Jackson in the US, have overwhelmed 3G networks.

Jeffreys said he witnessed a similar problem on a smaller scale when Foxtel employees in North Ryde were trying to watch Prime Minister Julia Gillard's address on their mobile phones.

The process known as 3G offload shifts traffic from the 3G network to a higher bandwidth, local WiFi network operated by the same carrier during these peak periods to ensure customers don't experience degraded service.

Ruckus is one of several manufacturers conducting trials with carriers in giving their networks the ability to offload 3G traffic. The wireless networking vendor said it was deploying WiFi networks in densely populated urban areas to complement carriers' 3G networks.

One of Ruckus' largest carriers, Hong Kong carrier PCCW, has installed a Ruckus wireless access point in the roof of 5000 phone boxes.

There were no trials in Australia yet but Ruckus said it was talking to Australian telcos.

 
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