Huawei tests Wi-Fi offloading technology

Chinese company says its technology satisfies stringent operator requirements.

Huawei announced it has completed a simultaneous service test of GSM, UMTS and Wi-Fi wireless networking technology, a first for the industry. The test is a step in the development of wireless services that can seamlessly offload wireless traffic from a carrier’s network to local Wi-Fi hotspots, the company said.

A recent Ovum report showed increasing pressure on carriers to offload traffic to Wi-Fi but identified dissatisfaction with available technology for switching users between networks. The problem of surging wireless data traffic may be less severe in Australia than in other countries.

Huawei said its technology would provide a better user experience that would satisfy operator requirements. The technology — already operational in Chengdu, China — selects the best Wi-Fi signal without requiring users to input a user name and password, the company said.

“Huawei’s solution allows operators to confidently deploy Wi-Fi as a means of tackling customer dissatisfaction with mobile services, which occur as a result of high data traffic and mobile networks that are increasingly overloaded with demand,” the company said.

To sell the offloading technology, Huawei may have to overcome suspicions about its business by Australia and some other international governments. Earlier this year, Australia banned the company from supplying equipment for the National Broadband Network because of worries about Chinese cyberattacks.

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