Technical Considerations for Mobile Data Offload with ePDG

EXPONENTIAL GROWTH IN MOBILE DATA TRAFFIC REQUIRES OPERATORS TO DRIVE DOWN THE COST OF DELIVERING GIGA BYTES WITHOUT COMPROMISING SERVICE AND SECURITY

As millions of users demand Internet connectivity at home, work and everywhere in between to access a growing array of data intensive services, carriers are experiencing a tremendous surge in the use of mobile data. This tremendous increase in data volume is severely straining the limited available radio resources. The explosive growth in mobile data traffic driven by increasing numbers of connected devices has led to the deployment of Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks. LTE networks have taken some of the pressure off 3g networks, but will not be sufficient to meet the increasing demand driven by increasing amounts of High- Definition (HD) video streams and voice over LTE (VoLTE) services.
Operators are taking action to meet ever-rising mobile Internet data demand – with major efforts under way focused on integrating WIFI into the mobile core for data offload. To address this demand of secure WIFI offload for untrusted networks it is imperative for user and networking equipment manufacturers to deliver compatible products.
WIFI’s relatively low cost, simple architecture and usage of non-licensed spectrum makes it an attractive data solution for mobile operators to fulfill consumers’ immediate data demand. But using WIFI cannot come at the sacrifice of service quality and security. Users will expect the same quality of experience and access to the same services regardless of access type. While operator services are delivered over Wi-Fi, enterprise and government users concurrently use highly secure VPN connections to their own security gateways.
Consequently, a key challenge that operators need to address when integrating WIFI into the mobile core is maintaining session security and continuity when handing off between 3g/4g radio networks and WIFI. This paper will address the use of ePDG in addressing this challenge.