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Sputnik Adds Multiple-Venue Network Management Features to Award-Winning Wi-Fi Software.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Sputnik, a leading provider of managed Wi-Fi software and hardware, today introduced a major upgrade to its award-winning Sputnik Control Center(TM) software that includes new scalability, authentication and management features for administrators of multiple-venue wireless networks.

Wi-Fi administrators can use Sputnik Control Center Version 3.0 to monitor and control thousands of wireless access points (APs) from any Web browser. Sputnik Control Center now provides centralized system management for multiple independent wireless networks, each with a distinct administrative environment. A single Sputnik Control Center server, for example, can manage wireless networks for a hotel chain, a university campus, an airport, and hundreds of individual cafes, malls, or city parks. Each wireless hotspot can have its own branding, access rights and pricing. In addition, the network administrator for each wireless location has access to a separate, secure management interface.

An optional new RADIUS module allows Wi-Fi administrators to use the popular remote user authentication system in conjunction with Sputnik Control Center. An ISP, for example, can add wireless network services and continue to use his existing RADIUS-based billing system.

Sputnik software simplifies the operation of wireless networks and is easy to use. Sputnik Control Center monitors network activity and lets the administrator track network usage by user and location, key information an administrator needs to set and enforce network policies. Version 3.0 allows administrators to block usage of specific protocols such as peer-to-peer file swapping.

"Management features in the newest version of Sputnik Control Center provide hotZona Wi-Fi the required tools to proactively control small to large networks of hotspots and eliminate problems before our users are even aware of them. Nothing could be simpler than monitoring users and traffic on a centralized Web site from anywhere in the world. For the first time, it's finally easy to tame the ever-changing Wi-Fi world," said Fowler Brown, CEO of hotZona Wi-Fi, one of the first wireless hotspot providers in Arizona. hotZona Wi-Fi provides the ground-breaking free wireless Internet access at the Arizona State Legislature.

In addition to monitoring real-time network status, administrators use Sputnik Control Center's secure Web-based interface to configure APs remotely, create custom captive portal pages, set network policies and generate reports. Administrators can easily create "walled gardens" to let end users browse a predefined selection of Web sites prior to authentication. Specific walled gardens can be created to suit a location such as a conference facility or for use during an event.

"It rocks!" said Lee Barken, President of SoCalFreeNet.org and co-director of the STAR Center at San Diego State University. "Sputnik Control Center Version 3.0 enables quick and easy provisioning, deployment and management of large-scale wireless networks."

Sputnik Control Center Version 3.0 is a free upgrade for current Sputnik customers. Sputnik provides tools that automate upgrading a Sputnik network to the new version by reflashing APs over the Internet and migrating user account data. A large network can be upgraded in minutes, with no costly field service visits.

Inexpensive to Own and Operate

Sputnik is dramatically less expensive than competitive wireless network management solutions, making it suitable for free community networks as well as for a variety of commercial networks. Prices start at $599 for Sputnik Control Center software and two APs. There is no ongoing revenue sharing requirement or monthly charge to reduce profits for a hotspot operator.

For service providers who choose not to install server software, Sputnik Control Center is available as the SputnikNet hosted service, also announced today. Sputnik management features can be accessed from a Web browser, with no server hardware or software to install and maintain.

Price and Delivery

Sputnik Control Center Version 3.0 software is available now from Sputnik and distribution partners. Kits including server software and two APs start at $550. Current Sputnik customers can upgrade without cost. All Sputnik access points and software come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

About Sputnik (www.sputnik.com)

Sputnik Inc. provides the leading software platform for wireless networks and applications designed for businesses, service providers and institutions. Remote network and subscriber management allows cost-effective operation of multiple indoor and outdoor wireless venues. Sputnik launched its commercial products in November 2003 and has gained over 300 customers, many of whom are engaging in major deployments. The privately funded company is based in San Francisco.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Sep 21, 2004
Words:718
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