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What is World Wi-Fi Day?

This past Monday, June 20, we celebrated World Wi-Fi Day, but what exactly is it, and where did it come from?

World Wi-Fi Day is a global event orchestrated by the Wireless Broadband Alliance that shines a light on the many communities and cities worldwide that remain without Wi-Fi access. Wi-Fi is a vital service that keeps economies moving, and by working to address the digital divide, The WBA hopes to bring governments and companies together to close the gap.

Why is Access to Wi-Fi Important?
The advancement of Wi-Fi has improved the quality of everyday life. Although people have operated without Wi-Fi for decades, almost everything has shifted to online spaces such as media, banking, shopping, and much more. Now more than ever, people need reliable access to the internet to do their jobs, attend school, or work on homework. Without access to the internet, people’s ability to learn, grow, and thrive is extremely limited. Only 55% of households worldwide have internet, while 80% of households in many developing nations do not have internet access.

Wi-Fi is often seen as a luxury when it should be treated as a commodity to be easily accessible; it can have tremendous social, economic, and environmental impacts. During the Covid pandemic, the reliance on global Wi-Fi increased as people shifted to working from home, doctors’ appointments were held digitally, and online schooling became the only way children could receive an education safely. More importantly, it casts a light on those without convenient access to Wi-Fi and their challenges.

While governments and corporations created initiatives to help connect people worldwide by providing free services and devices, these initiatives were to provide temporary relief. The HOPE for Connectivity, organized by the Wireless Broadband Alliance under the leadership of the Connected City Advisory Board, aims to connect local government, vendors, the internet, and tech companies in extending these efforts.

HOPE for Connectivity How to Get Involved
The HOPE for Connectivity calls for action from local government and industry leaders to recognize and celebrate Wi-Fi’s role in advancing our society. The goal is to accelerate the availability of affordable connectivity for those who remain unconnected. There are four critical themes rooted in the WBA’s vision for World Wi-Fi Day:

  • Help: funding Wi-Fi deployments to connect the unconnected communities
  • Offer: affordable Wi-Fi access in both rural and urban areas
  • Promote: how Wi-Fi has been successful in connecting cities and communities
  • Engage: and address the role of Wi-Fi in the digital divide

The first World Wi-Fi Day was held on June 20, 2016, and continues to gain popularity each year. World Wi-Fi day is working to create several activities for stakeholders to get more involved and support their initiative based on their expertise. Getting involved can be as simple as raising awareness and calling upon the local government and tech companies to help do their part to close the gap in the digital divide. If companies worked together to offer affordable Wi-Fi service and equipment, they could help close the gap and connect communities in need of innovation.

Wi-Fi is a significant contributor to the success of the global economy. Providing access to those who remain unconnected can ensure people can live high-quality lives. On World Wi-Fi Day, bring awareness and help close the gap where you can.

Research by Parks Associates shows that 43% of U.S. MDU residents use smart home technology in their apartments. However, only 34% of MDU property owners currently offer smart home devices to residents. “Smart” devices can include everything from sensors and IoT to cloud-based services and remote computing and analytics. This increasing demand makes now the best time to invest in smart home technology for MDU communities.

ImpruviX by WCI provides services including remote access controlcloud-connected common area cameras and water and leak sensors. Smart apartments are in high demand, with residents expecting reliable connectivity and property-wide internet. Smart apartments are also valuable for property owners both financially and for convenience-sake. Providing IoT technology in apartments is increasingly necessary to improve resident satisfaction and retention.

Managed Wi-Fi
Apartment complexes can offer property-wide internet access as a value-added service, increasing retention rates and improving the resident experience. Managed Wi-Fi is beneficial for residents and property managers, as outsourced connectivity is a simplified service for both groups. For residents, managed Wi-Fi eases the strain around moving in and out of their dwelling. Residents can move into their space and immediately connect to the internet, avoiding the hassle of negotiating with internet providers.

Furthermore, managed Wi-Fi is an opportunity for an additional stream of revenue for communities. Charging a slightly higher fee for monthly Wi-Fi is commonplace, especially considering the contractual obligations and costs associated. Residents are willing to pay more to avoid the hassle of installing and managing their own internet service. According to the aforementioned report, over a third of residents say they will pay an additional 15% per month for smart amenities. The ImpruviX managed Wi-Fi solution looks at reliability and redundancy, customer support and the simple use of move in, plug in by InstaOn®.

Property-Wide Internet Access
Managed Wi-Fi reaches beyond each individual apartment and encompasses property-wide Wi-Fi services as well. Property-wide internet access is also important for residents, as they are increasingly reliant on constant connectivity. Today’s residents expect to stream content and use the internet seamlessly throughout the property, moving beyond their respective dwellings into community areas like parking garages, laundry rooms and on-site gyms and pools.

In addition to charging for uninterrupted Wi-Fi, apartment managers can advertise property-wide connectivity as an added-value, safety-focused initiative. Connected safety devices include access control and common area cameras, both valuable features for apartment dwellers. Property-wide Wi-Fi, therefore, is an additional safety amenity, setting the property apart from local competition.

Internet-Connected Community Safety
Safety is an important amenity to residents. ImpruviX is the all-inclusive property safety solution, offering both common area cameras and cloud-connected access control. Smart access control systems improve safety throughout a community, providing residents with additional freedom and security through their personal devices.

Residents expect apartment communities to provide safety across the property, but especially within their individual units. Today’s renters expect apartments to come fully equipped with smart sensors to detect carbon dioxide and water leaks. Smart sensors are an essential amenity, as fires and flooding are an extreme financial strain on apartment buildings. Additionally, leak detectors enable properties to locate and repair water leakage issues before they affect the building structure, potentially saving thousands of dollars for future repairs.

Smart Apartment Devices
Smart sensors and leak detectors mitigate insurance concerns as they are preventative security measures. Additionally, apartment communities can save on insurance through clean energy initiatives and energy usage tracking. Smart apartments that are equipped with temperature control and smart lighting can monitor energy usage in real-time, providing insight into how the property is consuming energy.

Likewise, residents are also interested in smart home devices for their money-saving opportunities. A report from the National Multifamily Housing Council showed that residents are most interested in smart home technology that can save them money. This includes solutions like smart thermostats, sensor lighting and digital door locks. Additionally, smart thermostats reduce energy consumption with “eco-friendly” options to control the temperature and improve efficiency while the resident is away. Furthermore, today’s smart thermostats can adapt to a user’s typical schedule through artificial learning, motion detectors, and pattern recognition, creating a seamless experience for residents.

Do You Have the Network to Support These Devices?
Installing smart devices inside apartment buildings is a significant investment, and properties need to ensure they have the right bandwidth and network infrastructure capable of supporting these upgrades. Internal wiring has changed drastically throughout the years and historic or existing properties may have fallen behind on infrastructure updates.

The ImpruviX solution can be installed in a heritage building just as easily as a modern luxury building with minimal structural impact. Our solution accommodates existing hardware like coax cabling, ethernet and copper lines. ImpruviX will evaluate the current infrastructure of a property and determine the best, customized solution with respect to cost and unique needs.

Our solution enables fast, easy, virtually invisible fiber deployment in properties. The ImpruviX low voltage cabling system is cost-effective, and our hardware can convert older CAT cabling and coax solutions into usable and robust IP for Wi-Fi and networking.

This is an excerpt from ENEA’s white paper Wi-Fi in the 5G Era – Strategy Guide for Operators. The full white paper is available here if you like what you read. Don’t hesitate to contact ENEA if you have any questions.

Based on twenty years of Wi-Fi industry evolution, carrier Wi-Fi monetization strategies are both well-known and evolving continuously to match B2B and B2C needs.

In our previous blog posts, we have addressed how operators can monetize indirectly by making the most of their Wi-Fi assets and integrating Wi-Fi with their cellular 4G and 5G networks.

This blog post will dwell on how service providers can monetize Wi-Fi directly through B2B and home Wi-Fi services.

Enea, through the Aptilo Product Line, has been actively participating in this service evolution process from the start.

So how do you monetize Wi-Fi? The question has loomed large for years, particularly since, from a consumer point of view, Wi-Fi is typically offered as a free amenity. This does, however, not mean that service providers cannot monetize Wi-Fi services. Apple founder Steve Jobs once elegantly pointed out that “if you’re not paying for the product, you are the product.” And this is indeed true specifically for Wi-Fi.

The service provider will receive significant revenues from venues that want to provide carrier-grade Wi-Fi to guests or workers to stay competitive and relevant. Users receive the free service in return for their engagement with the brand and as a result of surrendering some personal details. The service providers may even agree to subsidize the B2B Wi-Fi service at particularly attractive venues to secure a valuable indoor Wi-Fi footprint for their subscribers’ use.

For years operator-managed Wi-Fi has been a specialized but growing telecom market segment. Most Wi-Fi monetization strategies and methods are not new. Still, in the coming years, we expect them to grow in value and importance as they are boosted, particularly by the mass-market arrival of new Wi-Fi technology.

This strategy is driven by the continuous increase in demand for quality Wi-Fi services by businesses everywhere. Hardly a public or private venue exists without the need for Wi-Fi. So business customers can now benefit by offering their visitors and staff top-quality carrier-grade Wi-Fi delivered by expert service providers.

OPERATOR MANAGED B2B GUEST WI-FI

B2B-Guest-WiFi-operated-by-service-provider

B2B Wi-Fi offers not only a significant revenue stream but also a needed service ‘stickiness’ that keeps businesses and consumers coming back. Enea believes B2B Wi-Fi is a business-critical contribution to an all-encompassing 5G strategy, including high-speed, low-latency indoor services delivered over Wi-Fi.

Businesses want to provide an easy-to-use, high-quality Wi-Fi service for their visitors. In many cases, venue owners see value in using Wi-Fi to engage with their guests and clients, for example, by asking clients to complete a short survey, create and verify accounts, or presenting them with Internet access sponsorship options, coupon offers, and so on.

In some cases, venues will still request payment for Wi-Fi services, often according to a ‘freemium’-type business model. In other instances, venues may accept guests accessing their network via Passpoint-based auto-connect Wi-Fi either for free or via a paid settlement agreement between operators.

It is a well-established fact that venue owners benefit from collecting and analyzing Wi-Fi data. They can use the data for targeted marketing of products and services. Care must be exercised to act only in accordance with GDPR or other relevant privacy regulations.

When operators provide such sophisticated Wi-Fi-based tools to businesses, they are typically also engaging their clients at the decision-making level, which is conducive to building stronger, higher-value, and more fruitful client relationships.

Operator-B2B-a-win-times-five

B2B Wi-Fi is a win x 5. The service provider’s B2B department gets a profitable service, business customers get analytics and a tool to engage their visitors, and visitors get a carrier class Wi-Fi service. If an additional SSID or Passpoint service is implemented for the operator’s subscribers, then the consumer department will receive the benefits of reduced churn and network operations will get much needed indoor coverage.

All of these things are not easy for business owners to accomplish on their own. In most cases, they are best provided by experts – meaning operators.

Suppose operator B2B Wi-Fi doubles as a service offered to consumers. In that case, both operators and consumers will benefit from the high-capacity deep indoor wireless coverage – provided that the Wi-Fi networks are built on Wi-Fi 6 and follow carrier-grade quality standards. The same applies to any businesses relying on indoor coverage.

Last but not least: Mobile operators can, in some cases, leverage the strong demand for Wi-Fi from businesses to introduce small cells or DAS systems into indoor locations owned by such businesses. In some instances, venue owners may more readily accept such installations when also provided with the quality Wi-Fi that their businesses and their guests need. In this way, the operator’s B2B Wi-Fi services can also become an indirect means of achieving better indoor cellular coverage.

OPERATOR HOME WI-FI
Residential Wi-Fi delivered by ISPs is right now one of the most significant growth opportunities not just in Wi-Fi but within all of the tech world. A big driver is the need for much better home connectivity to accommodate an avalanche of devices. More and more individuals are transforming their homes into work-from-home offices.

Most ISP-delivered home Wi-Fi services are today managed with simple WPA2 or WPA3 passkey access. However, in more sophisticated cases, smart home services are delivered to Wi-Fi devices at the endpoints. For example, a smart home Wi-Fi configuration app can provision not only Internet connectivity but many other services, such as parental controls, security monitoring, motion detection, and more.

In a few relatively new use cases, the classic world of residential Wi-Fi (as provided by ISPs) and public Wi-Fi (such as managed services enabled by Passpoint or SIM-based authentication) are to some extent merging.

These include, for example, Wi-Fi services offered at MDU (Multi-Dwelling Unit) housing complexes such as senior living facilities, long-stay resorts and condominiums, college campuses, and more.

Wi-Fi services for MDUs – because they are often deployed to cover a wide area similar to classic campus Wi-Fi – often require carrier-grade authentication and service management so guests and residents can enjoy high-quality, secure, and reliable Wi-Fi services anywhere on the property and on any connected device they choose.

We believe the service provider industry in the coming years will see new products or even new companies emerge to serve many such specialized MDU (or new emerging enterprise) segments. Many such new business opportunities will be driven by the hugely improved and more sophisticated Wi-Fi technology and services based on Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E.

Click here to download the white paper.

The Jetsons, an American animated series from the 1960s about a nuclear family living in a satirical version of the twenty-first century, complete with complex and funny inventions, inspired millions to fantasise about the future state of technology and life at home. Smart toothbrushes, robot cleaners, and video phones are just a few examples of technology that were portrayed as science fiction at the time but are now, more than 60 years later, becoming a reality. Since the Jetsons, the concept of the “smart home” has captivated people all over the world. In fact, there were an estimated global 175 million smart homes in 2021, a figure that is expected to skyrocket as people increase their smart device adoption and the value they place on convenience-based applications. Just as the Jetsons predicted the future, tech companies, consumers, and homebuyers are attempting to reimagine what a home will look like in 10, 20, or even 30 years.

The desire for a smart home is rapidly shifting from the future to the present, with 81 percent of consumers more likely to buy a new home equipped with smart technology. Devices are at the heart of the smart home. Comfort, efficiency, information, entertainment, security, and other desired functions must all come from a connected ecosystem of devices working together in the home. But, with much of the Jetsons’ futuristic technology now being realised, what is preventing us from fully embracing the smart home? We have yet to develop truly integrated devices capable of flawlessly interfacing and interacting with one another to provide enhanced smart home functionality.

To provide the home with the intelligence it requires, we need a universal ecosystem through which these devices can communicate. Matter, under development by the Connectivity Standards Alliance, will create the foundation for such an ecosystem of IoT devices, classified by the function or service they provide. While any vendor can create their own device, having a standardized communication protocol would allow any Matter application to communicate with other Matter-compliant devices. As a result, Matter would allow a homeowner to easily connect and have compliant devices interact in a vendor-neutral way. Such a universal ecosystem can also provide a mechanism for sharing WiFi Sensing outputs between IoT devices, resulting in a standardized way for devices to consume or share sensing outputs. Matter will eventually make it easier for other product vendors and/or homeowners to create their own applications based on sensing outputs.

We anticipate five key trends that will shape the future of the smart home, each requiring innovative technology and new approaches to service delivery.

  1. Enhanced Integration Capabilities
  2. Artificial Intelligence-Driven Internet of Things (IoT)
  3. Touchless Technology
  4. High-Speed Network Connection
  5. High Level of Customization

WiFi Sensing’s motion insights may be the untapped technology capable of transforming connected devices into a single integrated ecosystem, ushering our homes into the smart world. WiFi Motion is a rapidly evolving technology that can capitalise on these five trends to help actualize the future of the smart home by targeting the growing willingness of customers to spend on the smart home and serving as a central ecosystem for internet service providers (ISPs) to enter a growing market that generated $90.97 billion in revenue in 2021.

Enhanced Integration Capabilities
The era of isolated single-function devices has come to an end. Consumers are becoming increasingly frustrated with having to set up, connect, and then use devices through dozens of different applications. After all, convenience is the most significant factor in smart home device usage across all demographics. The smart home will not only need to centralise the ecosystem of connected devices, but it will also enable unprecedented inter-device communication to share data and provide new, enhanced features. Modern homes lack the necessary context to make the transition to truly smart homes. WiFi Sensing is the missing link that transforms an existing WiFi network into a dynamic ecosystem of connected devices that can leverage one another for enhanced smart home functionality. Furthermore, by integrating with a native ISP’s mobile app and existing smart devices, WiFi Sensing provides consumers with an intelligent and simple experience. WiFi Motion can activate smart home functions based on motion in the home, such as adjusting the thermostat when you walk in the front door or turning on or off other smart devices based on your natural movements.

Artificial Intelligence-Driven Internet of Things (IoT)
The name itself contains a key concept underlying the smart home: intelligence. While artificial intelligence is no longer as novel as it once was, its potential for providing predictive, intelligent behaviour to IoT devices has only begun to be explored. We believe that future devices will be intelligent by nature, recognising user patterns to establish routines and predict behaviour. Home operations will benefit from unprecedented levels of convenience and efficiency. WiFi Motion learns movement patterns using predictive analytics and AI to enable a truly cognitive home with enhanced capabilities. The need for manual input will become more archaic as our devices become smarter.

Touchless Technology
Touchless technology will come to define the smart home, as seen by the rise in predictive behaviour from connected devices. Ideas for gesture recognition are already inspiring tech companies around the world to look beyond traditional triggers and leverage how people move and interact in their homes. Modern examples of gesture recognition include opening a car trunk by swiping your foot under the back or shaking your wrist to wake up a smartwatch display. Touchless technology will also vastly improve the customer experience by requiring fewer direct points of contact. Customers will no longer have to open multiple apps every time they want something to happen in their homes. WiFi Sensing is an excellent example of touchless technology that does not interfere with the normal routines and habits of users. Smart home functions can be activated simply by moving around as natural. Over time, with additional use, your connected home will also be able to get smarter as it recognises behavioural trends to provide unique, tailored experiences. All without wearables or hardware.

High-Speed Network Connection
The future of the smart home will see a proliferation of IoT devices all connected to a single central network. With rising user expectations for what these devices can do, a consistent, high-speed network connection will go from a luxury to a necessity. Consumers will no longer tolerate lag or downtime, which could have a negative impact on their entire home in the future. Smart devices should not be added at the expense of network connectivity. WiFi is and will continue to be our lifeline as society shifts more and more activities online and into the home. While using IoT devices in the home as motion sensors, our technology does not interfere with their original functions, slow down the network, or affect data usage. In fact, the more devices in the home, the better our technology’s coverage and accuracy.

High Level of Customization
We’ve all heard the expressions “the customer is always right” or “the customer is king.” But in the tech world, we don’t always take that into account. One of the most difficult challenges for businesses looking to improve how they serve their customers at home will be putting the customer first. Service providers will need to offer a diverse range of customizable solutions to retain customers in a cost-competitive, low-loyalty market. Similar to cable demands, customization is based on a core desire to tightly control the service you receive so that you only pay for what you need and not all of the extra features. Similarly, the smart home operates in a personal space. To that end, a user must believe that they can tailor their smart home experience to their specific needs while remaining comfortable and secure. Everyone’s house is unique, so why shouldn’t their smart home be? WiFi Motion was created with the customer in mind. Our app allows users to configure a variety of custom notifications to provide the motion insights they require, while also intelligently learning a user’s patterns to provide a better experience. Depending on a home’s layout and IoT devices, WiFi Motion can be a unique setup for each space. Standard off-the-shelf solutions will no longer suffice.

ISPs as the Smart Home Facilitators
The network and connected devices are the smart home’s hub. As users connect their IoT devices to their existing WiFi, ISPs play a critical role in the facilitation of smart home functionalities. ISPs, with their network infrastructure and ecosystem in place to enable mass adoption, are a natural fit for delivering the future smart home. Their subscribers can enjoy unique smart home benefits like energy savings, comfort, and convenience, increasing customer satisfaction. Conversely, happier customers will improve key ISP metrics like net promoter score and customer retention rate. As the number of IoT devices in a home increases, so will the network’s resolution and, as a result, the ability to precisely automate household settings and tasks. This encourages customers to look to their ISP for help in expanding their home networks.

WiFi Sensing is another critical technology that can capitalise on the anticipated boom in the smart home market. According to Safe Smart Living, 81% of consumers are more likely to buy a new home with smart technology, while Comfy Living reported that 63% of homeowners want their homes to have a smart security system. With the smart home market expected to grow by 25% by 2027, customers have a clear desire to enhance their home environments through new services and experiences. ISPs should aim to lay a foundation of scalable technology to strengthen and expand their services in the coming years. WiFi Motion’s smart home integration creates a core ecosystem that ISPs and other partners can use to provide greater, newer, and innovative value through their own technology or services. WiFi Motion lowers the barrier to entry for smart home technology and opens up a new revenue market for ISPs via a simple WiFi connection.

Magdalena Yesil, Silicon Valley entrepreneur, Roxanne Oulman, former Medallia CFO and Tony Werner, former CTO of Comcast join Plume’s board of directors —
PALO ALTO, USA, June 8, 2022 — Plume®, the personalized communications services pioneer, today announced that it has appointed Magdalena Yesil, Founding Board Member of Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), Roxanne Oulman, former Executive Vice President and CFO at Medallia and Tony Werner, former CTO at Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA), as independent directors to its board.

“As a founder and entrepreneur, I not only look for great technology that customers love, and a talented team, but also the opportunity to create an entirely new category,” said Magdalena Yesil. “Plume has created a new category that is redefining consumer experiences in smart spaces, and I’m thrilled to be a part of this ambitious group of people.”

​ ​“Looking through the lens of cloud services and finance, I was very impressed with the high growth SaaS business Plume has built to date,” said Roxanne Oulman. “I am thrilled about the opportunity to collaborate closely with such a talented team, and look forward to rolling up my sleeves to help them hyper-scale across a number of vectors.”

​ “I’ve long shared Fahri’s vision, and appreciated Plume’s ambitions in reconstructing residential and small business service bundles,” said Tony Werner. “Today, over 95% of home devices, ranging from personal computers, e-readers and tablets to the exploding number of IoT hardware, connect to broadband over WiFi. The one thing they all have in common is the critical need for high performance, reliable and consistent connectivity over an unlicensed, wireless spectrum. Plume is revolutionizing connectivity and the smart home experience with an open platform, hardware agnostic approach. I am excited to continue partnering with Fahri, and help the Plume team achieve their goals in transforming smart spaces globally.”

These appointments come on the heels of Plume’s explosive growth over the last three years. Plume powers more than 40 million active residential and small business locations with its cloud hosted services through more than 275 Communication Service Providers (CSP) across the Americas, Europe and Japan. To help fuel the accelerating expansion of the global software defined network controlled by its cloud control plane currently managing more than 1.6 billion unique client devices, Plume raised $540 million over two rounds of funding in 2021 from Insight Partners and SoftBank Vision Fund 2.

“I couldn’t be more excited and honored to welcome Magdalena, Roxanne and Tony to Plume,” said Fahri Diner, Founder and CEO of Plume. “They each bring unique skill sets, professional networks, and valuable perspectives to help propel us to new heights.”

About Magdalena Yesil Yesil is the executive chair of Informed.IQ, a robotic process automation company. She also serves on the boards of SoFi (NASDAQ:SOFI), Smartsheet (NYSE:SMAR) and Zuora (NYSE:ZUO). She is the founder of Broadway Angels, an all-female group of angel investors, and the first investor and board member of Salesforce, where she served on the Board from formation to post IPO. Earlier in her career, Yesil founded three companies dedicated to commercializing Internet access, e-commerce infrastructure, and electronic payments, which led to an acquisition and two IPOs. She began her investing career at US Venture Partners and is the author of the bestselling book Power UP! How Smart Women Win in the New Economy. She is also one of the four women featured in NY Times best-selling author Julian Guthrie’s book Alpha Girls.

About Roxanne Oulman Oulman most recently served as Executive Vice President and CFO at Medallia, an Experience Management SaaS company. Oulman led Medallia’s IPO in 2019 which was publicly traded (NYSE: MDLA) until the purchase by Thoma Bravo for $6.4B in October of 2021. Prior to Medallia, Oulman was CFO and Executive Vice President at CallidusCloud (NASDAQ: CALD), a publicly traded $2.4B market cap SaaS company. Previously, Roxanne led as the interim Chief Financial Officer at Thoratec Corporation (NASDAQ: THOR), a publicly traded medical device company, where she held multiple financial leadership roles from 2004 to 2013. Oulman is also the Audit Committee Chair of CalAmp (NASDAQ: CAMP) a Telematics company and has served on the board since July 2018.

About Tony Werner Werner served as CTO and then President, Technology, Product, Xperience at Comcast Cable. Prior to Comcast, Tony served as Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Liberty Global, Inc., in Englewood, CO, where he led the company’s global strategy for video, voice and data services. He has more than 40 years of engineering and technical management experience, having also held senior management positions with Qwest Communications, Aurora Networks, Tele-Communications, Inc. (TCI)/AT&T Broadband, Rogers Communications, Inc., and RCA Cablevision Systems.

About Plume® Plume® is the creator of the world’s first SaaS experience platform for Communications Service Providers (CSPs) and their subscribers, deployed in more than 40 million active locations globally. As the only open and hardware-independent, cloud-controlled solution, Plume enables the rapid delivery of new services for smart homes, small businesses, and beyond at massive scale. On the front end, Plume delivers self-optimizing adaptive WiFi, cyber-security, access and parental controls, and more. CSPs get robust data- and AI-driven back-end applications for unprecedented visibility, insights, support, operations, and marketing. Plume leverages OpenSync™, an open-source framework that comes pre-integrated and supported on the leading silicon, CPE, and platform SDKs.

Plume’s investors include Insight Partners, SoftBank, Liberty Global Ventures, Qualcomm and Samsung.

Visit plume.complume.com/homepassplume.com/workpass, and opensync.io. Follow Plume on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Plume and OpenSync are either trademarks or registered trademarks of Plume Design, Inc. Other company and product names are used for informational purposes only and may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Enea today announced the launch of the industry’s first complete Wi-Fi Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) service management solution for Communication Service Providers (CSPs) to launch and monetize Wi-Fi services. The Enea Aptilo Wi-Fi Service Management Platform as a Service (SMP-S) is hosted as a dedicated instance per customer at Amazon Web Services (AWS). Each CSP has a self-contained, secure service that also can be deployed as a hybrid service to enhance existing Wi-Fi service management software.

One of Europe’s leading mobile operators has already deployed the solution to securely authenticate users through their SIM card credentials. This tier 1 operator joins a growing list of more than 100 service providers who have deployed the Enea Aptilo SMP. The new SMP-S incorporates all the features from the SMP, including multi-tenancy business-to-business (B2B) support so CSPs can sell Managed Wi-Fi services to organizations such as venue owners and enterprises. Organizations can choose from a variety of login methods to onboard visitors to their Wi-Fi service, including social media accounts, Office 365, surveys, and online payments. They can also monetize valuable insights gained from users by providing GDPR-compliant targeted advertising.

Security is another critical aspect of Wi-Fi, and Enea provides a unique combination of security and connectivity. CSPs can add an extra secure Wi-Fi SSID (802.1x) at every access point and combine this with mobile core integration and SIM authentication for robust security. This enables CSPs to offload subscribers securely and seamlessly to Wi-Fi and boost indoor coverage while freeing up much-needed additional capacity.

Enea’s solution allows CSPs to scale at their own pace with a pay-as-you-grow model to expand their Wi-Fi service footprint and deliver more coverage. As the network grows, CSPs can pick and choose functions that complement their existing solution so that they do not need to perform a costly replacement of their entire system. CSPs can now add new enhanced Wi-Fi service management functions over legacy services from the cloud for the first time.

Roland Steiner, Senior Vice President for Telecoms at Enea, commented: “Moving forward with legacy or homegrown systems in 2022 can feel expensive and problematic. That’s why we’re seeing more and more CSPs move their operations into public cloud solutions, leveraging the innovation and functionality growth shared by many. With our expertise in virtualization and security, CSPs can now use the cloud to monetize Wi-Fi safely using the new Wi-Fi SMP as a service (SMP-S)”

Sue Rudd, Director of Networks and Service Platforms at Strategy Analytics, said of the launch: “Wi-Fi service management ‘in the Cloud’ should immediately accelerate CSPs’ ability to launch new functionality and add services alongside existing systems to secure new revenues. Enea’s Wi-Fi service management offers multi-tenant B2B customer self-management while ensuring the correct handling of consent and use of personal data. These capabilities now make it far easier to monetize Wi-Fi and create valuable experiences for subscribers. Carrier Wi-Fi SaaS is a game-changer for CSPs and their business customers.”

References

Contact
Chevaan Seresinhe, Sonus PR for Enea
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: +44 797 1967 644

Stephanie Huf, Enea Chief Marketing Officer
E-mail: [email protected]

About Enea
Enea is a world-leading specialist in software for telecom and cybersecurity. The company’s cloud-native solutions connect, optimize, and secure services for mobile subscribers, enterprises, and the Internet of Things. More than 100 communication service providers and 4.5 billion people rely on Enea technologies every day.

Enea has strengthened its product portfolio and global market position by integrating a number of acquisitions, including Qosmos, Openwave Mobility, Aptilo Networks, and AdaptiveMobile Security.

Enea is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, and is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm.

For more information: www.enea.com

 

Today’s Wi-Fi® seeing unprecedented demand, growth underscored by Wi-Fi Alliance® members

Austin, Texas – May 11, 2022 – Since its introduction in 2019, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6™ has seen rapid adoption, surpassing 50 percent market share in three years compared to four years for Wi-Fi 5. This accelerated adoption is driven by demand for high performance Wi-Fi® in phones, tablets, and PCs, and advanced features and capabilities are bringing new opportunities for Internet of Things (IoT), service provider deployments, and dense public areas to deliver better experiences. Wi-Fi 6 extension into 6 GHz has further attributed to increasing demand, and Wi-Fi 6E has seen unprecedented interest among regulatory bodies worldwide, as well as strong adoption in products and in service provider and enterprise deployments. More than 2.3 billion Wi-Fi 6 products and 350 million Wi-Fi 6E products are expected to enter the market in 2022, and more than 15 percent of all Wi-Fi 6 shipments will also be Wi-Fi 6E this year1.

In 2022, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 added enhancements to best deliver advanced use cases. Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E are optimally equipped to meet today’s connectivity demands and allow a steady rate of new product and service innovation.

“Wi-Fi 6E is widely available and here today and Wi-Fi Alliance® members are seeing strong demand that will continue for years to come,” said Edgar Figueroa, president and CEO of Wi-Fi Alliance. “Wi-Fi Alliance has certified more than 400 Wi-Fi 6E devices, equating to hundreds of thousands of interoperable Wi-Fi devices that are already delivering a high-quality user experience.”

Product vendors and enterprises are driving the transition to Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E today, and strong momentum in three particular areas underscores the need to consider these technologies in product plans and deployment decisions.

Product momentum
There are now hundreds of devices supporting Wi-Fi 6E, with more than 70 laptop models, dozens of consumer and enterprise access points, smartphones – including marquee devices like Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and Plus – and smart televisions. By 2025, Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E are expected to surpass 80 percent market share and dominate the smartphone market2. Companies are seeing unprecedented demand for Wi-Fi 6E products, which is having positive impacts on their business, and the expanded capacity and wider channels are bringing benefits to users and enterprises. Other companies are meeting significant shipment milestones, noting that customers and carrier partners are ramping up Wi-Fi 6E today. With growing demand for Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E and a supply chain coming back into balance after the pandemic, the technologies are poised for accelerated product adoption.

Deployment momentum
Several recent announcements demonstrate the momentum by service providers around the world to make Wi-Fi 6E available to their customers. Recognizing the growth in number of home-connected devices and need for high-quality networks, service providers are bringing speed and capacity improvements through Wi-Fi 6E gateways to ensure subscribers can rely on today’s Wi-Fi as a foundational component of their digital lives. Among the reasons for deploying Wi-Fi 6E for customers include greater support for downlink and uplink speeds, reducing network saturation and improving the remote work and home entertainment network experience. Successful trials demonstrating Wi-Fi 6E’s tremendous potential have delivered fast connection speeds with low latencies, and healthcare facilities and education campuses are investing in low-latency, high-capacity Wi-Fi 6E networks to deliver mission-critical, high-bandwidth applications and services.

Regulatory momentum
Two years ago, the U.S. opened the 6 GHz band for Wi-Fi. Since then, more than 60 countries across Americas, EMEA, and APAC have or are considering making the band available for Wi-Fi. The Wi-Fi 6E ecosystem is expanding fast, and Wi-Fi 6E certification helps ensure worldwide interoperability for devices no matter where they are deployed. Several countries, including Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates have made the upper and lower 6 GHz band (5925-7125 MHz) available for Wi-Fi 6E. By making the full band available, countries such as Saudi Arabia are looking to harness the full potential of Wi-Fi 6E, noting that Wi-Fi is “crucial” to their citizens. Other countries have opened the lower part of the band (5925-6425 MHz) and their efforts are being applauded, but Wi-Fi 6E and future generations will best deliver their full potential by using the entire 1200 MHz of spectrum in the 6 GHz band.

About Wi-Fi Alliance® |  www.wi-fi.org
Wi-Fi Alliance® is the worldwide network of companies that brings you Wi-Fi®. Members of our collaboration forum come together from across the Wi-Fi ecosystem with the shared vision to connect everyone and everything, everywhere, while providing the best possible user experience. Since 2000, Wi-Fi Alliance has completed more than 70,000 Wi-Fi certifications. The Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ seal of approval designates products with proven interoperability, backward compatibility, and the highest industry-standard security protections in place. Today, Wi-Fi carries more than half of the internet’s traffic in an ever-expanding variety of applications. Wi-Fi Alliance continues to drive the adoption and evolution of Wi-Fi, which billions of people rely on every day.

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Media Contact:
Highwire PR for Wi-Fi Alliance
[email protected]

ImpruviX by World Cinema is the preferred circuit provider for apartment communities. Complete with SD-WAN functionality, the ImpruviX Connectivity solution reduces wireless redundancy and improves internet speeds through increased bandwidth design. WCI’s managed Wi-Fi solution simplifies and centralizes the property’s internet connectivity, improving convenience for residents and property managers alike.

ImpruviX by World Cinema retrofits custom network cabling to accommodate rental properties in operation today, implementing sustainable, future-proof digital infrastructure. Managed Wi-Fi by ImpruviX is a profitable investment for MDU communities and eases operations for the internal property management team.

Why Now?
Upgraded networks are increasingly important for multifamily communities, as new technologies rely on high-speed, advanced internet connectivity. Today’s residents need upgraded bandwidth to support all their devices, including smart room devices like thermostats and automated light treatments. Internet needs are going to grow as new technologies like the metaverse and augmented reality continue to grow in importance.

Below are the top four benefits owners and property management will gain from selecting ImpruviX by World Cinema as the trusted Managed Wi-Fi provider for their multi-family community.

1. Wi-Fi as a Fee-Based Amenity
Apartment complexes can offer property-wide internet access as a value-added service for residents, increasing retention rates and improving the renter experience. Managed Wi-Fi by ImpruviX is the easy solution for apartment Wi-Fi. Furthermore, residents can immediately connect to the internet when they move in, avoiding complicated procedures like selecting an individual Wi-Fi provider.

Managed Wi-Fi is an additional stream of revenue for apartment complexes. Charging a slightly higher fee for monthly Wi-Fi is commonplace, especially considering the contractual obligations and costs associated with the investment. Managed Wi-Fi is an excellent way for apartment complexes to receive extra funds each month. Residents are willing to pay more to avoid the hassle of installing and managing their own internet service.

2. Improving Resident Retention
ImpruviX by World Cinema brings security and consistency to residents, increasing retention rates and improving the renter experience as a whole. Custom network design by ImpruviX ensures residents are supported with high-speed, secure digital connectivity, including property-wide internet access and Wi-Fi call support. Managed Wi-Fi is an attractive feature for apartment residents as they can rely on property-wide, secure internet access.

Furthermore, resident amenities have expanded beyond the on-site gym and business center, as apartment dwellers are increasingly reliant on constant connectivity with minimal interruption. Today’s residents expect to stream content and use the internet seamlessly throughout the property, moving beyond their respective dwellings. Additionally, apartment complexes can advertise their Wi-Fi services as an added amenity, setting the property apart from local competition.

3. Reliable Connectivity for Staff and Internal Systems
The apartment management team also needs reliable internet connectivity for staff support and internal systems like cloud-based video management systems. In addition to providing Wi-Fi to common areas, property management needs internet access to communicate with residents and prospective tenants alike. Property-wide Wi-Fi is also essential for security cameras and remote video monitoring solutions like ImpruviX common area cameras. Furthermore, providing Wi-Fi benefits not only residents but internal staff as well.

4. IT Support and Easy Operation
Managed Wi-Fi by ImpruviX simplifies the internet experience for property managers and residents alike. Property-wide Wi-Fi simplifies the move-in experience for new residents as they can immediately connect to the internet upon moving in. Additionally, the turnover process is also easier for apartment managers as the ImpruviX team of system engineers and technology architects are there 24/7. World Cinema’s managed Wi-Fi solution is easily upgraded and centrally managed by our team, saving apartment management the hassle and cost of hiring an internal IT team to update the system.

Additionally, the ImpruviX Connectivity platform is flexible and scalable to accommodate the growing needs of each individual end-user. Our design team can utilize and advance existing infrastructures or provide customized, ground-up network designs with advanced technical architecture. We also install proprietary monitoring devices to drive useful analytics like circuit uptimes, latency, and jitter and reduce packet loss. Our remote monitoring system allows us to work proactively, getting ahead of potential issues before they happen.

The World Cinema Customer Promise
We deliver secure, consistent and scalable Wi-Fi throughout each property using modern Wi-Fi technology and leverage partnerships that drive innovation. Different clients have different goals. In delivering exceptional Wi-Fi experiences, there is not a one-size-fits-all solution. By remaining neutral and open to many different solutions, we can deliver the best total cost of ownership to meet the specific goals of any property.

Finally, we use a hands-on project management approach for technology implementation to act as a centralized point of contact for all property needs. We offer key support features to our customers, including hassle-free installations, remote network monitoring and 24/7/365 service through our Customer Care Center at our headquarters in Houston, Texas.

Why UWB Certification Matters
Looking back at the history of great wireless innovations, the common factor that has launched technologies on a successful path is the broad ecosystem built around them. The success that Wi-Fi and Bluetooth® have enjoyed over the past 20 years is mostly due to the fact that devices from any maker or brand simply work together. An incomplete, erroneous or proprietary implementation of a standard degrades device performance.  In the worst-case scenario, the lack of compatibility completely prevents device-to-device communications. Conversely, the assurance of interoperability increases consumer confidence and ensures enhanced user experiences.

Industry consortia such as the Wi-Fi Alliance® (for Wi-Fi) or Bluetooth SIG® (for Bluetooth®) have ensured device’s interoperability through technical requirements, test specifications, and certification programs. These consortia are made of diverse companies working together towards the common goal of increasing and encouraging a widespread adoption of their respective technologies. The FiRa™ Consortium has undertaken this task for Ultra-Wideband with the mission to bring seamless, secure, and precise location awareness for people and devices. FiRa unites key industry players working together to deliver the building blocks needed to ensure a broad adoption of UWB, with over 120 members, including all the top handset manufacturers, plus market leaders across chipsets, networking, secure access, and consumer technology. LitePoint was amongst the first companies to join FiRa at its inception in 2019.  An important aspect of the consortium’s mission is the development of specifications and certification programs fostering interoperability among UWB chipsets and UWB-enabled devices, and solutions.

Source: FiRa Consortium

FiRa Certification Program
In October 2021, FiRa launched its certification program aimed at driving interoperability between UWB devices. For a device to be FiRa Certified™ and display the FiRa Certified logo, it must meet the FiRa-specified MAC and PHY Conformance Test Specifications and the MAC/PHY Interoperability Test Specification. For certification, FiRa members submit their devices to an independent authorized test lab (ATL) and follow the process described on the consortium’s website.

Source: FiRa Consortium

PHY Conformance Testing
UWB RF Physical layer (PHY) conformance verification is an important foundational step to drive an interoperable device ecosystem. The PHY Conformance test validates that chipsets and devices conform to FiRa’s UWB PHY Technical Requirements and PHY Conformance Test Specification.

FiRa’s PHY Technical Requirements are based on the IEEE 802.15.4 standard and the 802.15.4z amendment. The requirements further build on what the IEEE has already established for HRP (High Repetition Pulse) mode to define a profiled feature set and performance requirements.

Source: FiRa Consortium

FiRa’s PHY Conformance Test Specification defines test cases that verify UWB devices’ conformance to the PHY Technical Requirements. It includes UWB device’s transmitter and receiver tests to validate compliant formatting and reception of UWB frames.

Transmitter conformance tests:

  • Transmitter frame formatting validation: SYNC, SFD, STS, PHR, DATA, CRC
  • Power Spectrum Density mask verification
  • Baseband impulse response
  • Carrier frequency tolerance
  • Pulse timing verification
  • Transmitter signal quality

Receiver conformance tests:

  • Receiver sensitivity
  • Receiver first path dynamic range
  • Receiver frame decoding verification: SYNC, SFD, STS, PHR, DATA, CRC
  • Receiver Dirty packet test (negative testing)

UWB Devices Under Test (DUT) must successfully pass all transmitter and receiver test cases for FiRa certification.

FiRa PHY Conformance Test Tool (PCTT)
LitePoint’s PHY conformance test platform has been developed based on the PHY Conformance Test Specification and validated by the FiRa Consortium. This test platform can be selected by ATLs for PHY Conformance Certification testing or by FiRa members as part of pre-certification testing. This complete solution includes both the hardware platform as well as test programs to control the tester and Device Under Test (DUT) using the UWB Command Interface (UCI).

The Complete PCTT setup is comprised of the following elements:

  • IQgig-UWB platform: it integrates UWB signal generation and analysis and is capable of performing all DUT transmitter and receiver test cases.
  • IQfact+ software: it provides complete test automation including tester control, DUT control, and data collection. Pass/Fail results are provided for each test case along with detailed test logs that can be used for troubleshooting.
  • The UWB DUT is controlled using the UWB Command Interface (UCI).
  • The physical connection between the PCTT and the DUT is a vCOM interface as specified by FiRa

UWB Testing Beyond Certification
Beyond certification, the IQgig-UWB platform can be deployed in R&D for conducted or over-the-air (OTA) device characterization as well as high-volume production, making it the perfect platform to enable a cost-effective, seamless transition from the lab to production.

To learn more about FiRa’s certification process watch a replay of our webinar co-hosted by Comarch, FiRa and LitePoint:

https://www.litepoint.com/knowledgebase/what-you-need-to-know-about-fira-certification-for-uwb-enabled-devices/

To learn about our turnkey PCTT certification solution:

https://www.litepoint.com/knowledgebase/fira-consortium-ultra-wideband-uwb-phy-conformance-test-solution-with-iqgig-uwb-and-iqfact/

This is an excerpt from our white paper Wi-Fi in the 5G Era – Strategy Guide for Operators. The full white paper is available here if you like what you read. Don’t hesitate to contact ENEA if you have any questions.

The new Access Traffic Steering, Switching, and Splitting (ATSSS) function is the ‘Holy Grail’ of mobile data offloading, but its complexity and reliance on device support means it will likely take years to come to market.

5G introduces new network architectural concepts for Wi-Fi integration with the mobile core (non-3GPP access). In our previous two blog posts, we explored the opportunities for mobile operators today and what is new within 5G. This blog post will cover the new Access Traffic Steering, Switching & Splitting (ATSSS) function, the ‘Holy Grail’ of mobile data offloading.

ATSSS WILL PROVIDE SMARTER CONNECTIVITY
Will new and better technology and standards for automatic network selection and intelligent convergence between mobile and Wi-Fi services be developed for the mass market of the future? The short answer is probably yes. We will address one of them here, namely the newly released Access Traffic Steering, Switching & Splitting (ATSSS) introduced in 3GPP release 16.

But the answer is also that such technologies – including Passpoint with SIM authentication – already exist for the most part. These may not be ideal but are still extensively field-proven and work well enough to have already been implemented by dozens of major carriers.

Operators actively choosing Wi-Fi offload as a strategy and who want more granular control often include so-called connectivity manager clients (apps or hidden clients) on the device. Such solutions can be pretty sophisticated depending on to what extent the app, and hence the operator, can access and control the communication layer in the device’s operating system.

The capability of such apps or hidden clients must at least include solutions to the following current imperfections in switching between Wi-Fi and mobile network access:

  • Avoiding unintentional ‘walk-by’ switchover to public Wi-Fi, which could produce a poor user experience or even intermittent loss of connectivity.
  • Policies and thresholds should automatically reject or accept handoff to Wi-Fi and back to cell sites if either is congested.

THE THREE “S” IN ATSSS
Wouldn’t it be a significant step up in performance and quality of experience if a phone natively could aggregate the data streams from Wi-Fi and cellular into one stream and perhaps even intelligently steer and switch traffic between the two?

We think yes – and fortunately, the 3GPP seems to think so as well since they have introduced ATSSS as part of the 3GPP Release 16 standard for 5G.

 Steering

Choosing the best available network based on speed, cost, and latency.

ATSSS Switching Switching

Moving seamlessly between 5G and Wi-Fi networks.

ATSSS Splitting Splitting

Splitting the traffic over 5G and Wi-Fi, the split can be set by policies.

ATSSS control both Wi-Fi and Cellular from Mobile Core

ATSSS uses the so-called Multipath TCP (MPTCP) technology, described in our white paper, to allow IP data traffic to flow simultaneously over Wi-Fi and 5G networks. The results are higher data rates, improved overall quality, and even gapless handovers between Wi-Fi and 5G.

Since very few applications and web servers support MPTCP, the ATSSS specifies an MTCP Proxy implemented in the 5G core User Plane Function (UPF). It also defines an ATSSS low layer functionality (ATSSS-LL) to support other protocols such as UDP.

The introduction of ATSSS is excellent news for advanced Wi-Fi service management platforms such as Aptilo SMP, as it makes policy management so much more complex.

ATSSS STEERING MODES
These functions, the three “S”, translate to four ATSSS standard steering modes that need to be supported in the device and in the Mobile Core (UPF).

ATSSS Active-Standby Active-standby

One access network – cellular or Wi-Fi – is the active (default) access network. The traffic is routed over this access network until it becomes unavailable, in which case traffic switches over to the other access network. When the active access network is available again, the traffic is switched back.

ATSSS Smallest Delay Smallest Delay

Traffic is sent over the access network with the smallest delay. The Performance Measurement Function (PMF) determines the latency of each network connection. The underlying multipath protocol can also provide measurements.

ATSSS Load Balancing Load Balancing

This specifies a fixed percentage for the fraction of the traffic that should connect over the 3GPP network with the rest of the traffic sent on the non-3GPP network. This mode only applies to the quality of service (QoS) flows with a non-guaranteed bit rate (non-GBR).

ATSSS Priority-based Priority-based

Traffic is transmitted over a specified high-priority access network (Wi-Fi or cellular). If this access network becomes congested, the traffic overflows onto the other access network. If the high-priority access network becomes unavailable, traffic switches to the other access network (as in Active Standby). The determination of congestion is implementation-specific.

Another factor that adds to the complexity of policy management is the large number of stakeholders. Real-world deployment of ATSSS will need to cater to:

  • Service provider policies
  • Policies set by the user
  • Device vendor policies
  • App provider policies
  • Enterprise IT policies

We think that ATSSS is a very promising standard. It is, to some extent, the ‘Holy Grail’ of mobile data offload, and with ATSSS, operators may finally find a good reason for backhauling Wi-Fi traffic to the mobile core. However, no 3GPP standard for Wi-Fi integration will ever be implemented in practice unless the device vendors want it.

NO REASON TO WAIT FOR ATSSS
For ATSSS to reach the mass market, device support is crucial. An example of a related standard that never achieved any market penetration at all is 3GPP ANDSF, which was a useful concept but, in the end, was never implemented natively in any device.

It may take quite a few years more for ATSSS to come to market – or alternatively, proprietary forms of essentially the same function incorporated by Apple or others may, in the end, supersede the 3GPP’s attempts. The ATSSS concept has already been tested successfully by Korea Telecom using a proprietary solution.

In either case, there is a good likelihood that Wi-Fi and 5G data streams will find new ways of complementing each other – including using aggregation & gapless handovers – on the transport layer.

Meanwhile, all the benefits of known and field-proven systems for cellular and Wi-Fi convergent services remain available to any operator who wishes to apply vastly improved Wi-Fi technology as a part of their network strategy today. Passpoint and EAP-SIM-based solutions are readily available and can possibly be complemented with an app for more granular control. In other words: Even though a more systematic 3GPP-based approach to convergence may emerge in the coming years, there is no reason to wait. Excellent convergence solutions exist today.