Today, MNOs are exploring new ways to optimise the user experience. One such method of accomplishing this involves the ability for a smart device to access both 3GPP and non-3GPP networks, such as WiFi, simultaneously.
MNOs are looking to offer users a system that keeps them connected to a network that satisfies their needs. The solution is to deploy a new functional entity, the ANDSF.
The purpose of the Access Network Discovery and Selection Function (ANDSF) is to assist user devices to discover non-3GPP access networks and to switch between them seamlessly. This enables operators to implement policies on the smart connected device that allow for either one or several active access network connections to be used, depending on the requirements of the user, the policies established by the MNO, and the demands of different applications. This way, users can relax and enjoy seamless connectivity literally to the best network that is available.
Instead of relying on only the conventional mobile network, users can benefit from automatic selection between 3GPP and non-3GPP networks, removing registration issues. The ANDSF allows operators to create and implement policies that enable optimised connectivity for mobile devices. Doing so ensures that users have suitable connectivity to do what they want. Users won’t need to worry about, for example, switching from 3G to WiFi manually to browse the Internet or upload content. Browsing with 3G is sometimes the best way of ensuring a connection; at others WiFi may be more suitable. It all depends on network conditions, network availability and what the user is trying to do. The way to achieve a better user experience is to make sure that the user is always best connected. The ANDSF solution standardises this, leaving the user to focus on what they want.
GoS Networks extends the ANDSF to the mobile connected device, enabling MNOs to implement device-level policies and to make decisions before traffic reaches the network. The GoS Agent and GoS Manager work together to provide users with an optimised experience by identifying applications and traffic types, implementing policy, and selecting the best access network(s); activities which are all performed seamlessly.
Want to learn more? See our WiFi Offload and Distributed ANDSF use case.