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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

October - 2012 - issue > Company of the Month

Stoke: Taking the Mobile Market by Storm

Vimali Swamy
Monday, October 1, 2012
Vimali Swamy
There is a new chip on the block. 2004 saw the foundation of Stoke, a mobile network equipment provider in a very short span of time has not only proved its mettle but with successful deployments across Europe and North Asia has catapulted itself into the elite list of players in this space like Cisco, Juniper, Nokia Siemens, Alcatel Lucent, Erickson and more. So what is the secret behind this rocketing growth of the company? Ask Vikash Varma, CEO and he affirms it’s not just the technology but also the keen sense to foresee trends, spot the opportunities and the backing by some of the biggest venture capitalists and prominent telecoms carriers.

Exploring opportunities ahead of time has been one of the many strengths of Varma. Long before carriers foresaw the congestion that would be caused in the network due to spikes in data services, Stoke started by selling its gateway as a 3G mobile data offload element, but found that carrier interest was low. Although the advent of iPhone and Android devices meant that carriers were experiencing enormous traffic spikes, with LTE deployment just round corner they found an investment in 3G at this point unnecessary. Seeing this, Stoke shifted gears and started positioning its product as a Femtocell gateway and an LTE security and aggregation platform. Though Femtocell adoption was not as widespread as initially expected, Stoke managed to make the carriers take notice of its different offerings. Today, the company has several LTE contracts lined up globally, one of the biggest one being with Japan’s NTT Docomo.

3G vs LTE: Exploring Opportunities

3G was a good network when it came to phone calls but the complexities began when the smart devices took off as the spectrum was being choked with the explosion of data usage. Stoke developed RAN offload solutions that could help carriers decongest the spectrum and enable them to maintain a quality user experience, while giving subscribers access to all the services, security and standards they receive over cellular networks using Wi-Fi.

Faced with unprecedented demand for mobile data, operators are forced to use Wi-Fi to augment scarce spectrum and offset capacity shortages making Wi-Fi a mainstream market force in the mobile industry. While major operators have publicly embraced Wi-Fi, but they have yet to implement the integration that would make Wi-Fi an extension of their networks. Handover from cellular to Wi-Fi is anything but seamless. Consumer or ad hoc Wi-Fi offload offers congestion relief, but encourages users to choose Wi-Fi over cellular, distancing the subscriber from the service provider. Stoke RAN offload solutions allows operators to establish and maintain a trusted connection from the device to the mobile operator core while extending the operator's ‘commercial reach’ over Wi-Fi connections. Enabled by the Stoke Wi-Fi eXchange, the solution offers high-density secure session termination of Wi-Fi connections outside the operator core, including 3GPP defined interworking and traffic steering features.

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