Wi-Fi goes mobile with Alcatel-Lucent

lightRadio™ Wi-Fi® sorts through the confusion of hotspots and cellular networks to find and connect with the best available wireless broadband network, while helping communications service providers extend their reach by integrating Wi-Fi directly into their service offerings.

People like to be able to switch from 3G or 4G networks to Wi-Fi to access the Internet, particularly with the growing interest in Cloud-based applications to store music, video, photos and multimedia content. However, switching from a cellular service to a Wi-Fi network is not always seamless, particularly when it requires first finding a network and then getting through complex log-in and password procedures.

lightRadio™ Wi-Fi® simplifies this process by allowing people to switch automatically from a cellular service to residential or public Wi-Fi networks and hotspots without having to login, worry about payments schemes, or even be aware of the shift. This is done in three ways: by using software that identifies and connects people to a ‘trusted’ network automatically; by introducing new capabilities into service provider networks to manage the transition between Wi-Fi and cellular networks; and by integrating Wi-Fi directly into small-cell base stations and cellular networks.

lightRadio Wi-Fi addresses another big concern – security. Many people prefer to connect to hotspots that they know they can trust, especially when accessing services and streamed content from the Cloud, or when they need uninterrupted connections for video streaming or video phone calls. lightRadio Wi-Fi always finds the most ‘trusted’ network.

lightRadio Wi-Fi represents a radical departure from the traditional way that mobile operators apply Wi-Fi: today it is often used to ‘offload’ traffic from congested cellular networks. By enabling cellular subscribers to stay within their network and service plan, it will allow service providers to maintain use of their services, creating revenue, independent of how the customer is connected.

The lightRadio Wi-Fi approach is also highly applicable for fixed-line and cable service providers, allowing them to extend wireless coverage to existing subscribers without investing in expensive spectrum or wireless infrastructure.

Accorind to Ken Rehbehn, a principal analyst at Yankee Group is delivering secure, seamless access to Wi-Fi networks a key requirement in the market right now. Alcatel-Lucent’s lightRadio Wi-Fi provides operators with a comprehensive solution that smartly draws from the company’s strengths in radio access technology and IP routing. The result is an offer that lets operators leverage existing network assets while delivering demanding smartphone users an outstanding customer experience.

Alcatel-Lucent is extending the lightRadio ecosystem to allow service providers access to the widest range of Wi-Fi networks. Alcatel-Lucent is collaborating with several major Wi-Fi access point companies to ensure interoperability and is integrating Motorola Solutions’ high-performance Wi-Fi solution and Qualcomm Atheros Wi-Fi technology into its multi-standard Metrocells to ensure that lightRadio Wi-Fi provides our customers with the best Wi-Fi solution, at a competitive price.