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HP and Transat to Help Mobile Operators Provide Seamless Link Between Public Hotspots and Cellular Networks
Cost-effective Solution Enables Operators to Deliver High-speed Data Services in Fast-growing Hotspot MarketPALO ALTO, Calif., and SOUTHLAKE, Texas, Feb. 3, 2003
HP (NYSE:HPQ) and Transat Technologies Inc. today announced an agreement that will help mobile operators significantly enhance the high-speed voice and data services they now provide to their wireless customers.
The two companies are combining their technologies and expertise into a powerful solution that will enable the world's mobile operators to seamlessly link their own 2.5G and 3G wireless networks with the burgeoning number of public wireless local area networks (PwLANs), also known as 802.11 hotspots or Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity).
With this linkage, users will have voice and data service from a single provider, whether they are on the move or in a hotspot, using a cell phone, a notebook PC or a handheld Pocket PC.
As part of today's announcement, HP and Transat, a leader in PwLAN technology, have agreed to integrate Transat's innovative software with HP's industry-leading telecommunications middleware, OpenCall SS7, to create a wireless infrastructure solution running on Linux platforms. HP Services will provide solutions consulting, customization and support services.
This agreement is a part of broader cooperation between the two companies, a key example of which is Transat's participation in the HP partner community, including the HP Developer and Solution Partner Program.
HP and Transat Enable Operators to Tap Growing PwLAN Market
For operators, the unique strength of the Transat carrier-class PwLAN software is that it uses existing network interfaces and existing HLR (home location register) mobility management solutions. This allows mobile operators to extend very high-speed PwLAN service to their customers with only modest capital investment.
The Transat software solution supports SIM-based authentication and billing within PwLANs. Transat integrates on a single platform the ability to automatically link multiple PwLAN and multiple cellular networks and enable roaming using existing SS7 inter-operator signaling infrastructure. Mobile operators can create inter-networking agreements with wireless Internet service providers or PwLAN aggregators and still extend -- and bill for -- PwLAN service to their own customers under their own brand.
The end-user experience is akin to using a mobile phone; that is, whichever network a user is on, the notebook PC or personal digital assistant will authenticate with the "home" network and create a billing record in the home network.
The use of a SIM card (a type of smart card) gives the mobile operator the proven security of GSM phones and enables PwLAN users to be provisioned and managed in the same way as mobile phone users. The system also supports users through PIN and password/credit card billing and authentication systems, thus allowing "walk-in" customers to use the PwLAN hotspots.
Gartner Dataquest forecasts that hotspot locations will increase from 14,717 in 2002 to more than 300,000 in 2006, that there will be 50 million hotspot users by 2006 and that hotspot-based data revenues will be a significant source of total mobile data service revenues.(1)
"Hotspots are proliferating, and mobile operators have a huge opportunity to serve high-value mobile customers -- in hotspots, where customers really need the bandwidth," said Sebastiano Tevarotto, vice president and general manager, HP Network and Service Provider Business Unit. "With Transat and HP, operators can tap the opportunity in the only way that makes sense -- by leveraging their existing network investment."
"We are extremely pleased with the strength and power of the Transat and HP relationship, and the ability to present a ‘common sense' business solution," said John Baker, chief executive officer, Transat, "and how this cooperation will quickly deliver on a global basis, true measurable results to operators: faster data service rollout, increased ARPU (average revenue per user) and above all, continued ownership of their customers."
HP Extends OpenCall HLR Beyond CDMA to GPRS/GSM Networks
As a core element in existing cellular networks, the HLR customer database will also play a key role in mobile operators' plans to integrate PwLANs into their networks.
The HP OpenCall HLR has been a leader in the CDMA market, managing mobility services for more than 70 million subscribers. Now, HP has enhanced this solution to include support for GPRS/GSM networks. With both standards supported on the same platform, provisioned through a single interface, mobile operators can enjoy the inherent advantages of the industry's first multi-mode HLR.
With the multi-mode HP OpenCall HLR and the Transat PwLAN solution, mobile operators can achieve significant operational efficiencies in the integration of 2.5G/3G networks with PwLANs.
HP Delivers Key Building Blocks for PwLANs
As part of its extensive portfolio of mobility offerings, HP fields an array of mobility technologies for PwLAN users, enterprises, and mobile operators.
Beyond the OpenCall SS7 signaling technologies and OpenCall HLR, HP provides HP OpenView Internet Usage Manager convergent mediation for Wi-Fi roaming and pre-paid/post-paid charging; HP OpenView network and service management software; wireless technologies to link mobile users into their enterprise applications; wireless access devices such as Windows®-based notebook PCs and HP iPAQ Pocket PCs; and the actual integration and installation of WLANs by HP Services.
Transat provides carrier-grade software systems for the integration of wireless LAN and cellular networks. Transat's software is in commercial service, enabling SIM- or smart-card based authentication, controlling network access and inter-network roaming. Uniquely, Transat creates transparency of services between 3G or GSM networks and WLAN networks. Public access and enterprise systems are supported. Transat is headquartered in Southlake, Texas, USA, and is funded by Acorn Campus, Bay Partners, Genesis Campus and Intel Capital. More information about Transat Technologies is available at http://www.transat-tech.com.
HP is a leading global provider of products, technologies, solutions and services to consumers and businesses. The company's offerings span IT infrastructure, personal computing and access devices, global services and imaging and printing. HP completed its merger transaction involving Compaq Computer Corporation on May 3, 2002. More information about HP is available at http://www.hp.com.
(1) Public Wireless LAN Access: U.S. Market Forecasts 2002-2007. Gartner Dataquest, 2002.
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