Nortel Networks [NYSE/TSE: NT] announced the ability to provide integrated solutions for wireless operators that will seamlessly link
existing and future Wireless Wide Area Networks (WWANs) with fast-emerging wireless 'hot spots,' also known as Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs).
Nortel Networks integrated WWAN/ WLAN technology will give GSM, GPRS, UMTS and CDMA wireless operators the opportunity to provide enterprises and consumers with a single 'sign on' and seamless service between 2G/3G networks and wireless hot spots. This solution will also give operators the
capability to provide consolidated billing, authentication and security without the need to restructure existing network architectures.
This technology will help enable mobile workers to establish 'virtual offices,' connect securely to corporate intranets, send and respond to
e-mails, access the Web, download files, and conduct business from virtually any location. In addition, it will allow users to roam seamlessly between wireless 2G/3G and WLAN networks with uninterrupted access to the same Internet Protocol (IP) data services. The technology will also manage
billing information across networks so that end users can receive one consolidated bill from their wireless operator.
"As part of our Wireless Data Networks strategy, Nortel Networks has developed this comprehensive suite of solutions to allow wireless operators
to offer secure WLAN hotspot connectivity as an extension to their existing wireless services," said Dave Murashige, vice president, strategic
marketing, Wireless Networks, Nortel Networks. "The WLAN strategy we are announcing today demonstrates our commitment to helping operators create a
mobile environment that delivers users compelling content and data services from any location. Our WLAN technology, coupled with our extensive
experience in IP data networking, will position operators to increase revenue potential and reduce subscriber churn."
"Public access WLAN provides a good test bed for mobile data applications, particularly those targeted at enterprise markets," said Jason Chapman, senior analyst, Gartner. "With 3G mobile heavily relying on the take-up of data services, it is not only in the interests of mobile operators but also of the mobile infrastructure vendors to make sure that early data services are successful, paving the way for 3G. Once mobile enterprise customers feel security and pricing are not prohibitive, they will get used to, for
example, being able to pull out their laptops in a coffee shop and get access to corporate data."
As part of its integrated WWAN/WLAN offering, Nortel Networks is working with Mobility Network Systems, a leading supplier of carrier-class WLAN
solutions, to provide comprehensive solutions that will enable GSM, GPRS and UMTS operators to integrate WLANs into their existing networks and service platforms using SIM and RADIUS technology. In interoperability testing conducted earlier this year, Mobility Networks ipRAN* technology was
successfully integrated with Nortel Networks GSM, GPRS and UMTS core network infrastructure and products, including Home Location Register (HLR) and Nortel Networks Univity* GPRS Gateway Serving Node (GGSN).
Nortel Networks CDMA technology will enable CDMA operators to provide WLAN services to their customers using existing CDMA2000 core network equipment. Nortel Networks is working in collaboration with Bridgewater Systems and
MetaSolv to support common authentication and billing between CDMA2000 and Wi-Fi networks, enabling a single 'sign-on' for the customer and
consolidated billing information. CDMA operators can choose to deploy their own WLAN access networks or act as a virtual network operator through WLAN
access wholesalers or aggregators.
Nortel Networks Univity GGSN/PDSN, based on Nortel Networks Shasta* platform, can provide a number of value-added benefits for wireless operators wanting to integrate WLANs with WWANs. Univity GGSN/PDSN will allow operators to identify and manage subscribers, control traffic flows, and deliver a richer set of IP data services. It will also provide enhanced protection of subscriber data with security features such as 'state-aware' firewalls and strong encryption algorithms.
In addition, Nortel Networks integrated WWAN/WLAN technology will use industry standard IPSec encryption technology to help reduce enterprise
security concerns. Nortel Networks Contivity* solution can also be used to provide encryption, authentication, firewalls and routing in a single,
secure switch, and stops unauthorized users from hacking into the network to gain free access and/or steal confidential information.