Opening the way to 4G / 5G Wi-Fi Convergence (NEW)

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4G / 5G Wi-Fi Convergence is the future thanks to new functionality in the 5G Core. Tessares has developed a way to get the benefits of 5G Wi-Fi Convergence without waiting for the upgrade to 5G Core…


In March 2019, we published a white paper entitled “Opening the way for convergence in the 5G Era with MPTCP”.  In that paper we discussed upcoming features in 3GPP Release 16 and the role of the proposed 0-RTT Convert Protocol. Since then a lot has happened and we felt it was time to revisit that paper. 


Firstly, in September 2019, Tessares and KT announced that they had successfully tested low-latency multi-radio access. Earlier this year 3GPP published Release 16, including Access Traffic Steering, Switching and Splitting (ATSSS) and other components which enable convergence between 3GPP (Cellular) and non-3GPP (Wi-Fi) access. Then, in July 2020, the IETF standardised 0-RTT TCP Transport Convert Protocol.

Simplified architecture of the 5G core showing the positioning of the ATSSS component as an entry point for 3GPP and non-3GPP networks


Tessares developed “Overlay ATSSS” providing the benefits of 4G / 5G Wi-Fi convergence without waiting for the 5G Core.


Business benefits of 4G / 5G Wi-Fi Convergence

The new white paper discusses the major advantages of 4G/ 5G Wi-Fi convergence including Wi-FI offload and the 24/7 management of the customer experience.


MultiPath TCP (MPTCP)

MPTCP is  the technology at the core of ATSSS based 5G Wi-Fi convergence.

The IETF standardised Multipath TCP as a TCP extension IETF (RFC 8684) that enables an application to use different networks to exchange data with a single server. We cover the three main use cases of MPTCP one which relies on MPTCP server support and two which do not.


MPTCP deployment options for ATSSS

The white paper gives the background to the technical evaluation of the two MPTCP deployment options and the rationale for the 3GPP choice of 0-RTT TCP Converter Protocol. The IETF published RFC8803 0-RTT TCP Converter Protocol in July 2020.


Tessares’ MPTCP Expertise & Commercial Experience

MPTCP will play a key role in future 5G networks. But, as of September 2020, few companies have successfully deployed Multipath TCP proxies. 

Tessares has deployed Multipath TCP proxies in six countries to enable operators to deploy Hybrid Access Networks combining xDSL and 4G.

Mature Multipath TCP proxies are the prelude to the future ATSSS services that will be included in forthcoming 5G networks. The capabilities of ATSSS are already in use today in live MPTCP deployments. 


3GPP Release 17 

Release 17 will see the development of ATSSS continue with potential support for other protocols. With Release 17 targeted for 2022, it will take a long time for these approaches to become operational commercial solutions.


A Faster Route to 4G / 5G-Wi-Fi Convergence – “Overlay ATSSS”

Tessares has a lot of experience commercialising MPTCP and developing ATSSS.  Read our white paper to find out how to benefit from 4G / 5G convergence without waiting for the upgrade.

Use Tessares Overlay ATSSS to combine 4G/5G and Wi-Fi to get the benefits of 5G Core Convergence

Read the new version of the white paper here and let us know what you think.


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