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GSM OPERATORS OFFER PUBLIC WLAN ACCESS.

Funk Software has introduced Steel-Belted Radius/SS7 Gateway, a new product which lets GSM operators offer public WLAN access to their customers, while leveraging their existing mobility, customer care, and billing infrastructure. The solution enables subscribers roam into WLANs and seamlessly access their network-based communication services from a single, trusted source.

The Steel-Belted Radius/SS7 Gateway bridges the IP-based public WLAN infrastructure and a GSM operator's existing SIM-based subscriber management system. SIM -- Subscriber Information Module -- is the hardware card embedded in phones (and swappable to PC cards) that contains a subscriber's network access credentials. With this product, subscribers can connect from an 802.1X WLAN hotspot, and have their credentials verified against the GSM operator's existing SIM-based infrastructure, thereby gaining access to the network.

The Steel-Belted Radius/SS7 Gateway offers GSM operators major benefits:

-- Offer public WLAN access, without having to upgrade customer care infrastructure -- This allows operators to tap into a burgeoning market, without having to change their authentication, point-of-sale kiosks, customer service, or billing systems to accommodate the new service.

-- Leverage existing roaming relationships with other operators --Subscribers will have WLAN access from their trusted GSM provider's venues, as well as venues serviced by partner operators, and billing will flow through correctly, based on roaming relationships already set up between providers. --Easily tap revenue opportunity within existing customer base -- A major advantage of the SS7 Gateway is that it allows GSM operators to offer a new service based on hardware their customers are already running. This lets them easily convert customers to WLAN access subscribers. -- Offers over-the-airwaves data security -- Another benefit of the SS7 Gateway is that it lets GSM operators offer secure public WLAN access. Subscriber data will be transmitted securely over the wireless link -- encrypted via Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) or dynamic WEP encryption protocols --preventing wireless eavesdropping within the hotspot.

"Earlier this year, TSI launched a global corporate initiative to increase Wi-Fi usage and ultimately drive revenue increases for industry players in the Wi-Fi market," said Michael O'Brien, TSI vice president of marketing. "We had the roaming, clearing and settlement solutions in place to make the Wi-Fi business model profitable for wireless operators. With the addition of Funk Software's Steel-Belted Radius/SS7 Gateway, we now offer secure public WLAN access for GSM operators, rounding out our end-to-end solution in North America as well as Europe."

Steel-Belted Radius/SS7 Gateway is the result of an OEM agreement between Funk Software and Ulticom, Inc., a provider of telecommunications signaling software enabling mobility, location, payment, switching, and messaging services. The product comprises:

-- Funk Software's Steel-Belted Radius/Service Provider Edition RADIUS/AAA server with EAP-SIM plug-in module -- Ulticom's Signalware SS7 product, enabling authentication and authorization services by converting WLAN access requests into GSM MAP/SS7 messages

In addition, an EAP-SIM-compatible 802.1X access client such as Funk Software's Odyssey Client is required for the wireless device.

"Our RADIUS/AAA solutions are already in widespread use on public data networks," said Joe Ryan, vice president of Funk Software. "The SS7 Gateway represents an extension of our AAA and WLAN security expertise into the world's GSM networks, giving operators a way to capitalize on the explosive public WLAN access market. We believe we will become a strategic vendor to these operators as well."

Availability

Steel-Belted Radius/SS7 Gateway is available directly from Funk Software. It is available outside the US through Funk Software's network of authorized international partners. For more information, visit http://www.funk.com.

About Funk Software

Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Funk Software is a commercial developer of RADIUS/AAA and wireless LAN security solutions. Its Steel-Belted Radius family of commercial AAA solutions for wireless operator, service provider, and enterprise networks is in use on thousands of public and private networks worldwide, delivering a highly scalable AAA solution that meets the needs of the largest customers. The company also offers an end-to-end 802.1X WLAN security solution, Odyssey, that can be easily and widely deployed on enterprise networks. The Steel-Belted Radius family of RADIUS/AAA solutions includes Steel-Belted Radius/Service Provider Edition, Steel-Belted Radius Concurrency Server, Steel-Belted Radius Port Allocation System, Steel-Belted Radius Mobile IP Module, and Steel-Belted Radius/Enterprise Edition.

Funk Software can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.funk.com.

For more information, call 617/497-6339.
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Publication:LAN Product News
Date:Jan 1, 2004
Words:713
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