Assessing the Influence of
Terminal Support Upon Data
To what extent is Device Availability a
Constraint for Operators Today?
Martin Prošek, Telefónica O2 Czech Republic
Mobile Network Offload to WiFi
Devices and Features
Real Situation in the Network
Mobile Phones Manufacturers Approach
Home Hotspot Issue
Disclaimer: The opinions of the author expressed
in this document do not necessarily state or reflect
those of Telefónica company
Czech Republic Overview
Small country, 10.5 million of inhabitants
More than 14 million mobile subscribers
3 mobile network operators (MNOs):
• Telefónica O2
Several smaller fixed line operators (e.g .GTS Novera…)
including cable TV operators (e.g. UPC…)
Many small WiFi operators (more than a thousand)
including amateur network CZFree.Net
About Telefónica O2 Czech Republic
Telefónica O2 Czech Republic, a.s. (TO2 CZ), is the first integrated
operator in the Czech Republic, formed on 1 July 2006 by the
merger of the leading fixed line operator, ČESKÝ TELECOM, a.s.,
and the strongest mobile operator, Eurotel Praha, spol. s r.o., into a
single telecommunications organization. The organization is now
operating more than six million lines, both fixed and mobile, making
it one of the world’s leading providers of fully converged services.
Telefónica O2 Czech Republic offers the most comprehensive
portfolio of voice and data services in this country. Special attention
is paid to the exploitation of the growth potential, particularly in the
data and Internet sector. Telefónica O2 Czech Republic operates
the largest fixed and mobile network including a 3rd generation
network, CDMA EV-DO and UMTS, enabling voice, data and video
transmission. Telefónica O2 Czech Republic also runs the largest
network of WiFi hotspots in the country.
Telefónica O2 Czech Republic Figures
2010 Nine Months Financial Results
• Total mobile customer base 4,856 thousand.
• Contract mobile customers 2,819 thousand.
• Number of prepaid active customers 2,038
• Total number of fixed telephony accesses 1,686
• Number of ADSL accesses 777 thousand.
• The total number of O2 TV customers 131
Press Release Nov 1, 2010
• 98 % of the population covered by EDGE
• 40 % of population (74 towns) covered by UMTS
Mobile Network Offload
Just to synchronize…
• Offload the mobile network at any cost (e.g. move to fixed access…)
• Offload by using an alternative radio access/overlay network (CDMA, WLAN, WiMAX…)
• Increase the mobile network’s capacity
• Extend reach/coverage (e.g. access inside buildings by WiFi hotspots)
• Any other
• RAN offload
• Backhaul offload
• Core network offload
• Any other…
Models for overlay network
• Controlled by mobile operator
• Controlled by ISPs in partnership with MNOs
• Any other (including free networks…)
Let’s focus on
Mobile Network Offload to WiFi by Operator
What to do with the excessive traffic on the
radio network? Offload to WiFi (WLAN).
OK, Core network is ready, WLAN is
connected, but why nobody is using it?
Because of terminals.
The terminals either do not support the
overlay WLAN hand-over and
authentication or subscribers are leaking to
other WiFi networks that are free of
So the terminal support is the key. And
smart proposition of the operator as well.
Types of Mobile Terminal
• Feature phones
• Laptop with USB dongle, PC card or modem
(including tethered handset)
• Netbook with integrated 3G modem
• Tablets, e-book readers, game consoles…
Other – M2M
• POS terminals, built-in modems…
Role of Terminal
• Connect to
Key Terminal Features
Connect to network
• Support of WiFi – IEEE802.11x
• Support of IEEE 802.1x Authentication
• Especially EAP – SIM, AKA*
• Not natively supported at the moment
Allow handovers between different networks
• Can be done by use of advanced „diallers“
Also remote management
• Settings provisioning – e.g. OTA
Majority of users is
unable to set even
of their device
* This is extremely important for mobile operators. It helps to keep the subscriber on-board
and prevent them leaking out from operator’s network.
Situation in the Network
Percentage of WiFi enabled phones is currently low
• About 8 % in CZ (comparing to 15 % in UK)
• It is higher when counting only on-line phones
• But still growing…
Mobile phones in Telefónica O2 CZ network
Percentage of laptops with WiFi is almost 100 %
• Some laptops has also built-in 3G modem
Impact of offloading phones is low – it is just about
20 % of data traffic
• Off/loading to operator’s network might be easy
– user control is low
PC traffic is much higher – 80 %
• But the access to the network controlled by OS
drivers and „dialer“
Phones vs. PCs in Telefónica O2 CZ network
Situation in the Network
Market share vs. NW share
Market share does not say anything
about actual devices in the network
The battle about smartphone market
share does not have immediate impact
Q3 2010 Telefónica O2 CZ network shares
The NW load is mainly caused by boom
of mobile broadband (= modems,
dongles) and not smartphones
Data from Telefónica O2 network
Terminal Manufacturers Support for Offloading
Mobile phone manufacturers do not care about operator based WiFi services
Nokia gives relatively good support for operator controlled WiFi access
(features built in to Symbian).
Massive push of Android (but with insufficient support of EAP-SIM)
PC equipment manufacturers feel no relation to operators at all
PC operating system makers are not used to support mobile operators
Vendors are primarily “feeding customers hunger” for cheap access to
Even Apple planning to bypass carriers?*
*Rethink Wireless: Is Apple planning an iPhone that bypasses carriers? Caroline Gabriel, 27 October,
Users View on Mobile Network Offload
Do not forget:
Many users are offloading already now
Home hotspots – really big competition!
“Why do I need to pay anything when I can connect
through my current Internet connection?”
Impact on Data Offload Strategy
Data offload to WiFi is technically doable, but:
Limited availability of devices with good support
• Still too few WiFi enabled phones in the network
• Features in the phones are insufficient
Terminal manufacturers do not support it sufficiently
Building WiFi overlay network is expensive
Customers want to bypass paid operator network
So what is
Limited Availability of Devices
When there are no suitable devices with good support for WiFi offloading on the market the
operators must push manufacturers to make them.
WBA a good candidate?
Operators should ally and define some kind of standard that will be communicated to
mobile phone manufacturers.
In some cases the lack of terminals with good support of WiFi offloading is just a lack of
sufficient information at manufacturer. In some cases it might be the strategy.
It should be also possible to push OS vendors (Microsoft or Linux distribution companies –
RedHat, SuSE…) to support WiFi offloading in their products.
But it takes time…
Mobile Operator’s Combo Device/Dialler
TO2 CZ currently offers several combo devices for UMTS/CDMA-EVDO.
Also provides several diallers that are used to deliver better customer experience with
CDMA modems and 3G USB dongles.
These diallers are able to detect WiFi as well. It should be possible to enhance them to
use SIM card for EAP-SIM authentication. Then it will provide (almost seamless)
connection service across all connections available at the device (PC or phone).
Another solution supports the strategy of extending reach/coverage:
• Co-operate with other mobile operators and ISPs
• Allow roaming between Public WLANs
• Support use of EAP-SIM authentication
Public WiFi Hotspot Run by Home Users
A creative solution – use home hotspots with dual SSID and
use the second SSID for operator’s WLAN.
Why should home user pay to operator for access via his/her
But why should home user open his/her own hotspot to
Why should home user allow dual SSID operation his/her
Why to lose full capacity of his/her connection in favor of
And even allow remote management of it by the operator
Because the home
user would get money from
the operator for use of it
by other users!
It is not just about the Network Capacity
WiFi offloading benefits include:
• Mobile portal authentication
• On-boarding PC users
• Finding new models of operation – to compete with strictly Internet
• If operators successfully unite for common pressure on terminals
manufacturer it might create another ground how to influence the future
But isn’t simpler just keep the mobile network architecture as it is?
(“The do nothing strategy…”)
There is another reason…
*Not the case like operators made agreement with Apple about iPhone…
Current State is like Last Days of the Roman Empire
MNOs created „empires“
Huge revenues are funding their
But now the „empires“ are under
attacks of „barbarians“ from
outside (the Internet…)
It‘s evolve or die…
Without gaining position on the
WiFi networks the MNOs cannot
survive in the Internet age
keeping their current form
Not keeping the position means
drastic reduction of their
business – the „fall of empire“
Is device availability a constraint for operators today?
• Yes. Without proper support the offloading might
lose the desired effect.
Operators data offload strategies should count with:
• Need of development and deployment of needed
features to mobile phones.
• Creating cheap data access with solid guarantees,
operators could be bringing new quality to current
WiFi ISPs and keeping their place in the value
• Offload should not be just disaster measure, it
should be rather opportunity to bring new users onboard.
Potential business model to explore:
• Cooperation with home WiFi hotspots owners