The goal of the
Project Group is to foster collaboration, exploration, and standardization among organizations deploying Wi-Fi, infrastructure vendors, and service providers.
The Wi-Fi Project Group is developing a disaggregated End-to-End Wi-Fi solution, consisting of access points (APs) and a cloud-native control/management plane which interfaces to mobile operators’ core networks to enable mobile data offload. Our design is being driven by ease of operation and low total cost of ownership (TCO).
Currently, most residential Wi-Fi APs operate autonomously. However, with Wi-Fi use cases becoming diverse, dynamic and increasingly mission-critical, Managed Wi-Fi is becoming a necessity to satisfy quality of service requirements, while keeping operational costs under control. We aim to increase the pace of innovation and reduce cost through disaggregation of the Wi-Fi AP and Controller/Orchestrator SW stacks. Our goal is to enable interoperability of APs, controllers and orchestrators through scalable, open APIs.
Mobile Wi-Fi Convergence
While cellular coverage is expected to keep expanding over the next few years, the bandwidth available per user is projected to decrease outside developed markets. Operators are looking at offloading cellular traffic to Wi-Fi as a way to address this shortage of access capacity, allowing them to connect more users. Also optimally deciding best network to connect to will also improve users’ connection speeds. The project group aims to drive convergence and develop specs in specific areas related to mobile data offloading including profile distribution, connectivity management and policy enforcement.
Though a significant investment in innovation has been made towards improving and securing the enterprise use case, Wi-Fi has been offered by service providers as a best-effort service to consumers. However, as consumers depend more on Wi-Fi-enabled devices and as operators look at tackling spectrum congestion via offloading cellular traffic to Wi-Fi, it is becoming critical to deliver carrier-grade services through Wi-Fi at an acceptable price point.
The Project Group will work on improving Wi-Fi Internet connectivity and pursue opportunities to deploy innovative technology and business models for Wi-Fi networks. The emphasis will be on bringing solutions to the market in the shortest possible time frame, leveraging the collective leadership, expertise, and influence of Project Group members.
Technology: Develop hardware and software, methods, that will make Wi-Fi networks less expensive and easier to manage and operate.
- Interoperability: Develop software, methods, standards and APIs that allow for operators/system integrators to build custom solutions, mix Wi-Fi vendors, and interoperability with cellular mobile networks for access and backhaul.
- Monetization: Develop methods, standards, APIs, etc. that make it easier for operators to monetize Wi-Fi networks.
- Coordination: The Project Group will coordinate with other relevant bodies and organizations concerned with Wi-Fi networks and technology.