Devicescape Says Offloading Can Solve Indoor Coverage Issues

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Devicescape says it now has 215,000 UK Wi-Fi hotspots in its Curated Virtual Network as it launches Coverage Continuity

Devicescape has launched a service that allows operators to seamlessly transfer customers from a cellular network onto an approved Wi-Fi hotspot if their 3G or 4G signal is too weak.

‘Coverage Continuity’ monitors any degradation in a cellular network and offloads them if signal quality falls below a certain benchmark. Once cellular coverage improves, users are transferred back onto the mobile operator’s network.

Devicescape is positioning the service as a way for operators to improve indoor coverage, with many turning towards low frequency spectrum and femtocells in a bid to maintain standards.

Offloading traffic

Wi-Fi (c) marinini, Shuttersctock 2013“Smartphone users consume 93 percent of their data indoors, so the provision of a consistent quality of service inside every building, on every floor, is mobile operators’ greatest connectivity challenge,” said Dave Fraser, CEO, Devicescape. “Indoor service must be consistent with the quality of the best outdoor 4G/LTE experience, and this is precisely what our Coverage Continuity solution enables.

“Users don’t care how they get connected, and no single technology in isolation can provide universal connectivity. With Coverage Continuity, mobile operators have their customers covered—even beyond the reach of the best of cellular—meaning they can direct expensive small cell and DAS deployments to only the most essential locations.”

The service uses Devicescape’s Curated Virtual Network (CVN) which now covers 215,000 hotspots in the UK alone. This figure stood at less than 17,000 when Devicescape announced its first British customer a year ago, representing 13 percent growth.

UK Wi-Fi growth

Whenever Devicescape detects a new hotspot, it is assessed for quality of experience, availability and seamless authentication. If the access point meets Devicescape’s standards, it is added to the CVN.

“The UK is an innovative market for amenity Wi-Fi so we were expecting around 10x growth in the first year,” added Fraser. “To get 13x growth in that timeframe is just fantastic and reflects the increasing pace of amenity Wi-Fi deployment.”

One of Devicescape’s UK customers is Virgin Media, which uses the CVN to strengthen its Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO).

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