Aruba helps telcos extend 5G footprint into enterprises

Aims to deliver seamless, secure mobility between cellular and enterprise networks with carrier-grade quality of service

5G, Aruba, HPE, Network

Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, has introduced its new roaming service designed to enable cellular subscribers to securely and automatically roam onto participating Aruba enterprise Wi-Fi networks. The new service, called Aruba Air Pass, allows for a seamless hand-off between cellular and Wi-Fi networks, without sacrificing security or quality of service.

When used in conjunction with Aruba Air Slice, an Aruba technology that improves radio performance, telcos can extend their 5G footprint into the enterprise and enable seamless Wi-Fi calling and gigabit-class guaranteed performance.

Due to evolving building codes, energy efficient construction materials and low-emission glass, cellular signals are challenged when penetrating buildings, resulting in dramatically diminished performance. To solve this problem, Aruba customers can easily leverage their existing enterprise Wi-Fi infrastructure as a cost-effective alternative to deploying indoor small cells or distributed antenna systems (DAS).

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Because 5G standards support aggregation of both 3GPP and Wi-Fi radio access networks (RANs), global telcos can leverage Wi-Fi as an indoor onramp to 5G services to deliver new classes of enterprise services, such as network slicing. This helps enterprise IT teams accelerate their adoption of 5G with an economical and seamless solution that greatly improves performance and user experience inside the enterprise.

One of the fundamental enabling technologies behind Aruba Air Pass is Passpoint, a standard created by the Wi-Fi Alliance to enable mobile devices to automatically authenticate on enterprise Wi-Fi networks using their cellular credentials. Passpoint is a broadly accepted standard, and is supported on nearly all mobile devices. By leveraging Aruba Air Pass, global telcos have the ability to vastly expand their footprint to potentially include the nearly 20 billion square feet served by Aruba Air Pass-ready infrastructure worldwide.

Based on the same OFDMA radio technology that powers the 4G LTE and 5G NR radios, Aruba Air Slice is a unique Wi-Fi 6 technology designed to optimise user and application experience by providing carrier-grade quality assurance. By dynamically allocating radio resources, such as time, frequency and spatial streams, Aruba Air Slice guarantees performance for latency-sensitive applications such as AR/VR, Zoom and Slack, mobile gaming and real-time IoT applications.

Using Aruba Air Pass and Aruba Air Slice, mobile network operators can benefit from a globally scalable coverage solution, maintain continuous visibility and contact with subscribers, and deliver future 5G services across the depth and breadth of Aruba’s global installed base of enterprise Wi-Fi customers.

“The combination of Aruba Air Pass with Aruba Air Slice gives telcos the ability to extend the reach of their 5G networks into the enterprise while economically improving the overall end user experience,” said Jeff Lipton, vice president of Strategy and Corporate Development at Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company. “Devices that associate with an enterprise network using Aruba Air Pass may then use their Wi-Fi connections to access applications and services, such as making and receiving calls and text messages, based on their roles and permissions.”

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