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Benefits or advantages of cellular and wifi (WLAN) integration

This page compares cellular vs wifi (i.e. WLAN) data networks and mentions benefits or advantages of cellular and wifi integration. It mentions advantages of cellular wifi system with respect to cellular operator, wifi service provider and user perspective.

The deployment of cellular networks and WLAN hotspots are increasing due to increase in user demands. Both cellular and WLAN technologies are complement to each other. Both wifi data service provider and mobile operator are interested in roaming between wifi and cellular networks.

Complementary nature of cellular and wifi technologies can provide cost effective business. It offers wireless multimedia and high data rate services to large population. The integration of two technologies help operators to provide access independent services, better utilization of spectrum resources, standardized inter-working, low cost infrastructure, promotion of multimode terminals, flexible integration of new access networks at IP level and so on.

Cellular network

There are different cellular networks such as 2G (GSM), 3G (WCDMA), 3.5G (HSPA+), 4G (LTE, Mobile WiMAX), 4.5G (LTE Advanced), 5G NR (New Radio) etc. in increasing order of their data transfer speed.

Cell Phone Tower Block Diagram
Figure-1 : Cellular data network architecture

There are three main elements in cellular data network architecture viz. Base Station (i.e. network side), Mobile subscriber (i.e. user side) and internet backbone. This is shown in figure-1, the cellular system connects with PSTN and PSDN to provide support for circuit switched data traffic and packet switched data traffic. Refer Cellular tutorial for more information on cellular network basics.

The silent features of cellular data network are as follows.
• Cellular network is available nation wide due to roaming functionality.
• Cellular data users will be charged as per different subscription rates and usage in various countries.
• Coverage range is higher due to cellular tower height and transmit power as per planned RF link budget.

cellular network and wifi network integration architecture
Figure-2 : Integrated cellular wifi architecture

WiFi network

The WiFi network follow various IEEE WLAN wireless standards such as 802.11a, 11b, 11g, 11n, 11ac (wifi5), 11ax (wifi6) etc.
WiFi network is not available everywhere. Now-a-days wifi hotspots are available in business offices, malls, airports, railway stations etc.

WiFi internet architecture
Figure-3 : Wifi data network architecture

There are two elements in wifi data network architecture viz. AP (Access point) or router and STAs (Stations). WiFi operates on 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency bands. WiFi operates in two modes which are adhoc and infrastructure.

The silent features of wifi data network are as follows.
• WiFi data users are not charged and it is available free of cost at most of the public places.
• It supports different data rates as per wifi standard used by APs (i.e. routers) and STAs (stations) which is much larger than cellular data rates.
• Coverage range is lesser compare to cellular network.

Benefits or advantages of Cellular wifi (WLAN) integration

Following are the benefits or advantages of Cellular wifi (WLAN) integration :
➨It helps to offload cellular data traffic to WLAN network in the areas having higher user density.
➨It helps wifi service provider to increase its subscriber database by pulling cellular data traffic users from partner cellular networks.
➨The integration helps end users with enhanced performance by offering greater coverage, high data rates and low overall cost.
➨The cellular wifi integration provide customers with single billing and service support. Moreover it offers secure communication environment and trusted relationship.
➨It helps to promote multimode terminals at lower cost.
➨The integration take benefits of higher data speed from wifi network and large area coverage/high mobility support from cellular network.

Cellular and WiFi (WLAN) Technology RELATED LINKS

Cellular network vs Ad hoc network    cellular frequencies    Cellular communication tutorial    WLAN tutorial    What is wlan    Cellular mifi vs wifi    WLAN router providers   advantages and disadvantages of 802.11ac (WiFi 5)   advantages and disadvantages of 802.11ax (WiFi 6)   BSS coloring in 11ax   RU in 802.11ax   MU-OFDMA in 802.11ax   MU-MIMO in 802.11ax   Difference between 802.11ac Wave1 and Wave2   Difference between 802.11n,11ac,11ad   WLAN 802.11ac tutorial   WLAN 802.11ax tutorial   WLAN 802.11ac frame structure   WLAN 802.11ac Physical Layer   802.11ac MAC Layer   802.11ax basics    WLAN 11a,11b,11n,11ac frame structures  

Advantages and Disadvantages of other wireless technologies

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RF and Wireless Terminologies

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