nCore Communications is a startup company founded in July 2014 with headquarters in San Diego, CA.

nCore Communications mission is to develop a number of disruptive technologies to aid the explosive uptake of mobile computing and data usage, and ultimately help realize a fully integrated heterogeneous network, enabling seamless and ubiquitous interoperability among multiple communication protocols including ‘Internet of Things’ which is becoming prevalent in today’s societies. 

Our vision is that in near future nCore Communications will take an inevitable role in making various wireless networks to become an extension of internet with the same mix of business models and ownership.

LTE cellular mobile communications system, also known as 4G, has been under development in 3GPP for almost a decade now, and is made of contributions from many telecom companies. It is still an evolving system with many new features planned for future releases (R12, R-13….), and is likely to evolve to a near 5G system.

LTE system is an optimum communications system for public and private mobile networks. However, LTE radio can only operate in dedicated channels, which implies ‘licensed band’ spectrum. LTE radio (RF, Physical and MAC, RLC and PDCP layers) are not suitable for operation in licensed-exempt (or unlicensed band) spectrum which require sharing the frequency resource with other uncoordinated nodes or networks.

A well established access technology (802.11) which is also known as WiFi, is better suited for unlicensed band operation. While the development of 802.11 Physical and MAC layers have been advancing rapidly, the supporting infrastructure development for large networks has been left to individual solution providers to develope, and as such remains relatively underdeveloped and proprietary. As a result, WiFi infrastructure solutions do not exhibit the same level maturity and performance as LTE infrastructure which is designed as a carrier grade network.

Therefore for operation of large networks in unlicensed band, the best solution is to use LTE network as it is, while using WiFi as the preferred access technology instead of the original LTE radio. Unfortunately LTE system is defined with a very ‘tight’ coupling between the radio and the core network, making it impossible to replace the radio part with other technologies such as WiFi.

nCore Communications LTE-over-WiFi is the first known solution enabling use of an arbitrary access technology (e.g. WiFi) within LTE network. As shown below, LTE-over-WiFi solutions enables support of LTE procedures and protocols over a WiFi access point.

LTE-over-WiFi hybrid network enables support of LTE procedures and protocols over a WiFi AP

With such a hybrid arrangement, LTE-over-WiFi solution is capable of keeping the desirable features of an LTE core network (Security, QoS, Mobility, Roaming, billing etc), while operating in an unlicensed band with low-cost hardware and low-cost ad hoc deployment.

The possibility of operating a carrier-grade mobile system such as LTE over a WiFi radio, without the need for licensed spectrum, has openeed new market opportunities, while reducing the cost and complexity of existing ones.

The current markets considered for LTE-over-WiFi solutions are:
2- Enterprise Networks (Hosted or On-Premises)