Today, more than half of all mobile traffic (60%) is carried over Wi-Fi networks in homes, offices and public places from coffee shops to shopping malls, yet operators have been challenged to effectively integrate Voice over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi) and other data services into their networks.
With the number of Wi-Fi hotspots expected to continue to grow significantly, fixed and mobile service providers now recognize the strategic necessity of bringing Wi-Fi access into their network experience.
Realising the increased demands in this marketspace, Affirmed Networks, a virtualised mobile networks company, is now offering Evolved Packet Data Gateway (ePDG) and Trusted Wi-Fi Access Gateway (TWAG) functionality that enable fixed and mobile operators to offer virtualised Wi-Fi access as part of their overall network experience.
The combination of Wi-Fi with cellular services on a single platform allows operators unified Radio Access Network (RAN) access for mobile services, and allows fixed and mobile operators to expand their network coverage, add new services, such as Wi-Fi calling, and improve the overall consumer experience.
With this introduction, Affirmed Networks is delivering a carrier-grade virtualised Wi-Fi solution that delivers the scalability and encryption required for operators to increase the number of IPSEC-encrypted sessions on demand without the need of specialized hardware.
Until now, telecom solutions requiring IPSEC were tied to dedicated hardware to support the high capacity encryption needs of Wi-Fi deployments. To achieve this, Affirmed Networks combined its expertise in virtualising network elements with an industry-first solution on the IPSEC encryption front.
"Affirmed Networks' innovation is focused on providing solutions that directly address business challenges and help create new opportunities for our customers. Our work with Intel Technologies allows us to ensure that our technical innovation remains at the 'world-class' level that our customers deserve," said Angela Whiteford, Affirmed Networks' Vice President of Marketing and Product Management.
"Mobile operators are investing heavily to gain new customers and to remain profitable and must keep churn to a minimum. By providing operators with virtualized Wi-Fi capabilities, not only can they begin to offer revenue-driving services, they also significantly improve network coverage, and the overall customer experience as a result. Wi-Fi also provides a valuable 'offload' option that operators are utilising to improve overall network utilisation."
The Affirmed Networks fully virtualised Wi-Fi gateway takes advantages of hardware and software advances from Intel, including Intel AES New Instructions (Intel AES-NI) and Intel Multi-Buffer Crypto for IPsec Library.
These advances enable the delivery of a high-performance, fully-virtualized IPsec-enabled ePDG on standard high-volume servers. In particular, new capabilities associated with the performance gains provide accelerated data encryption and greater levels of security.