SIM authentication leads to increased Wi-Fi offload, Aptilo says


A Tier 1 mobile carrier has seen its monthly Wi-Fi sessions explode after deploying Wi-Fi offloading with SIM authentication, according to Aptilo Networks.

Aptilo said that in the course of using its mobile data offloading solution with SIM authentication, the unnamed carrier has seen an increase of nearly 20 times the number of monthly Wi-Fi sessions in the first two years, and more than 10 times the number of Wi-Fi users per month in three years. The mobile operator sought to shift 3G smartphone data traffic to its own national carrier Wi-Fi network. The SIM authentication process relies on the device’s own SIM card for authentication rather than another log-in.

According to Aptilo, some of the usage statistics for the carrier include:

  • An increase in the first year of use from 500,000 sessions per month to 5 million per month. 
  • In the second year, sessions jumped to 10 million per month, and are on track to double again to 20 million sessions per month by the time the third year of deployment ends in January 2014.
  • Total growth in Wi-Fi sessions since the SIM authentication deployment is predicted to reach 3,600%.
  • Before SIM authentication deployment, there were about 200,000 users per month on the carrier’s Wi-Fi network. Now there are close to 2 million per month.

Aptilo said that those results were achieved even though many smartphones do not currently support Wi-Fi based SIM authentication.

“SIM Authentication creates a better overall data service experience, which has led to a significant boost in Wi-Fi usage for our customers,” said Torbjorn Ward,  Aptilo Networks’ CEO, in a statement. “We are seeing more and more carriers leveraging mobile data offloading with SIM authentication to generate revenue. Seamless Wi-Fi offloading combined with a carrier-class Wi-Fi service is becoming the gold standard for mobile operators worldwide.”

The company will be discussing its approaches at the Wi-Fi Offload Summit in Germany later this month.


About Author

Kelly Hill

Editor, Big Data, Analytics, Test & Measurement
Kelly Hill currently reports on network test and measurement, as well as the use of big data and analytics. She first covered the wireless industry for RCR Wireless News in 2005, focusing on carriers and mobile virtual network operators, then took a few years’ hiatus and returned to RCR Wireless News to write about heterogeneous networks and network infrastructure. Kelly is an Ohio native with a masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, where she focused on science writing and multimedia. She has written for the San Francisco Chronicle, The Oregonian and The Canton Repository. Follow her on Twitter: @khillrcr