BelAir Networks and the Wi-Fi Handoff

by Jordan Richardson on February 3, 2010

Handling the weight of data usage has always been a significant concern of mobile operators across Canada. With the development of smartphones and other data-heavy mobile products, Canada’s mobile companies have struggled with maintaining a certain standard of network stability.

Now that most networks are under considerable strain, Canada’s major mobile operators look to be turning to Wi-Fi networks to help offset some of the tension. In Europe, O2 has already moved some of the data generated by iPhone users to a network of Wi-Fi hotspots in its scramble to handle network loads.

Ontario-based BelAir Networks says that the handoff of some of the 3G capacity to Wi-Fi networks will help give mobile companies a “leg up” when it comes to rearranging things for the eventual arrival of LTE (Long Term Evolution) networks.

When 3G sites are replaced by LTE sites, the capacity will be improved twofold. In order to gain the capacity increases required to handle the network’s inevitable weight, BelAir’s co-founder and chief technology officer Stephen Rayment believes that shifting to Wi-Fi will offer a good primer as to how these things play out.

Rayment also believes that current industry estimates on the capacity required to run LTE drastically understate the cause. With many industry experts suggesting that there will be a need for 10-100 times the network capacity as now, Rayment and BelAir point to higher numbers that measure more along the lines of 100-1,000 times the network capacity.

BelAir Networks works itself into the picture in that it has carrier-grade WiFi network equipment designed for service providers. With more mobile operators moving network loads over to Wi-Fi, BelAir Networks has a lot of business at the moment.

Rayment says that there has been a change in attitude over Wi-Fi, too, as companies start to learn just how useful it can be.

With Wi-Fi being more than up to the challenge of handling the workload and helping Canada’s key mobile companies retain clients, BelAir Networks and other companies trafficking in providing network equipment and capacity for the wireless industry should be enjoying a very good year.

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