3GPP-WLAN interworking support at Core Network level is already specified in the standard. As part of Release 12, a study on ‘WLAN/3GPP Radio Interworking’ is in progress to find solutions for RAN-level interworking between 3GPP and WLAN. The aim and scop of this study are defined in document no RP-122038. The following issues are being addressed during the study:
1. Under-utilization of operator-deployed WLAN
2. Sub-optimal user experience when UE connects to an overloaded WLAN
3. Unnecessary WLAN scanning leading to draining of UE battery resources
The first phase of this study identified the requirements for RAN level interworking and defined the scenarios to be considered in the study. The outcomes are captured in the 3GPP Technical Report TR 37.834.
In the current phase of this study, the focus is on identifying solutions addressing the requirements identified in the first phase and evaluation of the benefits and impacts of identified mechanisms over existing functionality, including core network based WLAN interworking mechanisms (e.g. ANDSF).
This TR is updated after every RAN2 meeting to capture the results of this study. I will summarise the key points in the coming days.