Telecoms.com periodically invites expert third parties to share their views on the industry’s most pressing issues. In this piece Dharen Ells Business Development Manager at Spirent discusses the pros and cons of using WiFi to offload pressure on mobile networks.
Who to blame when your premium smartphone drops a call or sounds really cheap? It worked fine back home – so it must be the lousy network!
Customers still find it more natural to blame the network rather than admit they might have chosen the wrong phone. This despite the fact that, back in 2009, a respected European test lab, Broadband Testing, put several of the best handsets to the test and found that their performance varied widely under a range of everyday operating conditions, such as walking, moving in a car or train, or handing over between cells. Since that report, the industry has taken its mobile testing a lot more seriously.
This might just be history, except that Voice over WiFi (VoWiFi) adds a new complication: can handover between the mobile and WiFi networks happen seamlessly and without loss of quality? Get it wrong, and the mobile provider will likely be blamed. Get it right, and the provider can deliver first class service and reduce pressure on the mobile network at a lot less cost. VoWiFi presents a new set of conditions, and a new set of challenges, when it comes to evaluating device performance under laboratory conditions.