Rumor has it that Apple’s new iOS 6 operating system, due to launch in the next quarter, will contain a feature that keeps users connected to the best possible network at all times.
It’s dubbed “Wi-Fi Plus Cellular” and according to the AppleInsider, it means that when you are connected to a Wi-Fi connection that’s busy, your iPhone will independently choose to find you a better connection even if that means going back to cellular. It will keep syncing data and applications and keep your FaceTime videoconference from dropping if you are using an iPhone 4S or greater.
From our point of view, this new feature can only be a good thing. Today, networks are designed to automatically connect smart phone users to Wi-Fi even if the existing 3G connection available offers better bandwidth.
It seems illogical, but your smartphone does not necessarily pick out the best service for you. The new feature makes connecting to a network more mobile operator friendly because it makes sure that existing 3G and 4G networks are utilized as much as possible, without automatically pushing users to Wi-Fi.
At Accuris Networks, we work with mobile operators every day to help make Wi-Fi look and behave like an extension of existing 3G and 4G networks. We think that this new feature will benefit the mobile operator and end user alike.
If smart phones have a way of finding the best service at all times, in any location and don’t have to be shoehorned into one option, it will give users a better connection.
Toggling back and forth between cellular and Wi-Fi until a high bandwidth connection becomes available benefits the end user who can continue to use all the existing services on a phone when on the move. Mobile operators benefit because customers stay on their networks longer and can access all services including policy solutions, billing and security.