Mobility: towards a seamless network

Philippe Bertin represents the Network Architecture lab, one of the three specialties in b<>com's Networks and Security field.

Fred Pieau
djugon
One month after the second IRT Forum, we took a look back at the network demonstration with Philippe Bertin, a Project Manager in the Network Architecture lab.

At the IRT Forum, your represented b<>com's Networks and Security operations. What story did you choose to tell?

Imagine a traveler in an airport terminal who wants to stream his favorite show on hir smartphone or tablet. His connection comes from the Wi-Fi network, but due to increased load (because several users have signed on to the Wi-Fi network), the live TV feed decreases in quality even though he's a premium user.

With the b<>com solution, the network automatically detects the drop-off and switches the terminal to the best network, based on the traffic load supported: it may be the 4G network, or another Wi-Fi network. This operation is totally invisible to the user. Users who are considered lower-priority stay connected to the Wi-Fi, with a reduced quality of service.

Two terminals and the dashboard showing the real-time status of the traffic.

b<>com

It's not always easy to show the progress being made in the field of networks. What were attendees' reactions?

Most attendees are familiar with these everyday situations in which the network is so bad that simply viewing a website is impossible, much less a live video stream. Our work in next-generation networks, called "seamless networks", was clearly of interest to attendees.

What specifically is b<>com doing different?

Here, b<>com is using two technologies:

  • a mechanism for measuring the quality of service of each type of access, allowing the operator to monitor the quality of its  network in real-time 
  • an automated solution to detect and select the best access and manage the terminal's handover, while maintaining a continuous connection.

More broadly speaking, what issues are addressed by the Network Architecture lab?

We come up with architectures to adapt to the new reality of more terminals and more data, as well as the overall management system that will enable optimal use of the deployed resources. To do so, our lab benefits from the convergence between telecom systems and IT.