The Vault

Smart Access Manager Demo with Bob Gazda
Video / Nov 2013 / SAM, Wi-FI, ANDSF policy

Bob: Hello my name is Bob [Gazda] and we’re here at the Broadband World Forum in Amsterdam. Here at Inter Digital we’re displaying our smart access manager client technology. This is an intelligent data offload client that runs on end users’ devices and it bridges the gap between Wi-Fi networks and other networks providing an always-best connected experience.

So, in today’s world we very much live in a world of network of networks. So, there are Wi-Fi networks overlaid with cellular networks. One network may be congested while at the same time another network is being under-utilized. Our technology is blending these networks together to provide a seamless always-best connected experience to the mobile end user while at the same time providing a network operator the tools that they could best utilize their network resources.

Now the smart access manager is an intelligent data offload client that runs on end user terminal devices like smartphones and tablets. It’s very important to have a client component within the Wi-Fi offload solution to provide flexibility and adaptability in Wi-Fi cellular integration. To a greater degree that can be accomplished with network-only solutions or also proprietary-based solutions.

Our smart access manager client is implementing what is known as the access network selection and discovery function, sometimes referred to as ANDSF, which is a standard component included in the 3GPP.

So, here let’s take a look at our device and we’ll see an example of one of these policies. The smart access manager implements release 8 through release 11 of the 3GPP ANDSF standard. A key access of the standard is providing Wi-Fi preference ratings down to the device to help it make selection decisions to connect to the most appropriate network.

Now the smart access manager takes into consideration both the policy that’s received from the network and then also the real time conditions that are seen on the device. This is extremely important to make that best-connected type of experience.

So, in this policy we have three Wi-Fi networks that are included in the policy. We have a home office Wi-Fi, which is the top ranking, a passpoint Wi-Fi as a second, and also an alliance Wi-Fi. Now the smart access manager is also including hotspot 2.0 as part of its capability. We monitor our hotspot 2.0 parameters as part of network selection. The home office is currently not in range so we’re not connected. Since the passport Wi-Fi is the most highly ranked and in-range Wi-Fi that’s what we’re connected to. And then the alliance Wi-Fi is also in range but we’re not currently connected.

So, now I’m going to demonstrate how the smart access manager reacts to congestion conditions as they occur in real time. So, I’m going to inject congestion into the passport Wi-Fi network. When the smart access manager detects this congestion it’s going to react accordingly. One of the parameters that we monitor is something called the BSS load. The BSS load is a measure of air interface congestion on the Wi-Fi network. And you can see I’ve crossed over a threshold that I have set and the smart access manager has disconnected from the passpoint Wi-Fi. We’ve temporarily banned this network due to the congestion conditions and we’ve selected the alliance Wi-Fi, which is our third-preferenced network.

Now the smart access manager is going to periodically reevaluate these networks. We’ll see now it’s reevaluating passpoint Wi-Fi. The congestion conditions are still in play so we’re once again going to ban that network and we’ll be disconnecting from it and selecting the alliance Wi-Fi. Now if I remove the congestion the smart access manager is also going to detect this situation and react accordingly. We’ll see it reselect passpoint Wi-Fi. Now the smart access manager is once again selecting the passpoint Wi-Fi based on the operator-preferred policy.

So, at Inter Digital we have our smart access manager client available both for Android devices and for IOS devices. I’m going to be showing a demonstration of the SAM becoming installed for the first time on a user’s iPhone device, getting an initial policy download from the ANDSF server and then making a Wi-Fi network selection based on that policy.

So, here we have the SAM client installed on my iPhone. I’m going to accept the conditions around the application. As part of the bootstrapping process an SMS message is going to be sent to the server to bootstrap the device and we’re now registering with the server. Once this registration is complete a Wi-Fi configuration profile is going to be sent to the device and then we’re going to be under SAM Wi-Fi control. So, the profile is now being downloaded and it’s available via a web URL link. The profile is now available for installation. I’m going to click install. Oh, it’s done. We can take a look at some details of what’s in this policy.

So, you can see we have four Wi-Fi networks that are part of the policy we’ve received from the ANDSF server. The operator Wi-Fi is going to be the preferred network. And you can see our device is already connected to Wi-Fi. You can see our Wi-Fi connection is now established and we’re connected to the operator Wi-Fi, which is the highest preferred network in our ANDSF policy. So, an aspect of our ANDSF policy is separate devices and separate users can be managed independently of each other. We have an example of that between our iPad device and our iPhone device. Both of these devices have the smart access manager client installed. We have a very small example policy on how they can be separated into two user groups.

The iPhone has the ability to select between two networks, operator and partner, while the iPad only has the ability to select the operator Wi-Fi network. This is just an example of how an offload policy can be tailored between two different users or between two different device types.

To illustrate the dynamic nature of the Wi-Fi offload policy I’m going to adjust the Wi-Fi networks that the iPhone device is allowed to use in its policy. So, I’m just going to remove the operator Wi-Fi and I’m going to insert the partner Wi-Fi. We’ll see the device react to this change in policy. Now to show the policy change I’m going to disable the Wi-Fi on the device and then I’m going to re-enable the Wi-Fi network and we’ll see it adjust based on the new policy that we’ve set.

Now our device is going to start scanning for Wi-Fi again. We’ll see our two networks come into range, both operator Wi-Fi and partner Wi-Fi. Now in this case instead of selecting the operator Wi-Fi our device is selecting the partner Wi-Fi. Like I mentioned earlier the smart access manager is implementing through release 11 of the ANDSF standard. A key aspect that was added in release 11 is the application routing policy. This is a way that a device, if connected to Wi-Fi and cellular simultaneously, applications could be steered towards separate network interfaces. That’s what we’re doing here in our example. We’re streaming YouTube video while we’re simultaneously streaming DailyMotion Video. We have a separate policy for these two applications. The YouTube video is being modeled or managed as a best-effort Internet service. An over-the-top Internet service. It’s going to be a sign to any Wi-Fi network that the device may come in contact with.

That could include the Wi-Fi policy that was received in the ANDSF rules. Or it could be user wireless LANs that the end user may have connected to outside of the ANDSF policy. The DailyMotion video is being treated as or managed as an operator service. So, this application will either route through the operator’s Wi-Fi network or the cellular network and will be banned or blocked from any other Wi-Fi network outside of the operator’s infrastructure. We can see we’re streaming both of these videos simultaneously.

Now if we take a look at the trooper traffic you can see the amount of traffic the DailyMotion video is taking on the 3GPP or the cellular network. And then simultaneously the YouTube traffic is routing via the Wi-Fi network.

The smart access manager is an intelligent data offload and traffic management client for Android and IOS devices. Being a client application it can take advantage of the contextual information that is available only on the client. One of the real time conditions of the networks that the device is seeing, what’s the context of the user. It provides automatic, seamless Wi-Fi cellular connectivity to the user providing the mobile end user an always-best connected experience. And lastly our solution is centered on standards. So, we’re implementing the ANDSF standard, which is a key component for scalability as this technology rolls out into the marketplace. SAM, smart access manager, broadband management, Bob Gazda, solutions