Early September saw the launch of a plethora of new Apple (News - Alert) devices – specifically two new phones which will shoot and edit 4K video as well as a new iPad Pro which sports a massive 5.6 million pixels. Moreover the phones have 12MP cameras that replace the previous models that had 8 MP. That’s a 50 percent increase in potential pixels in photos. What this means is even more demands on wireless broadband networks as these phones hit the market.
This situation presents a challenge as well as an opportunity. The challenge of course is dealing with all this data. It is apparent that 4G networks alone won’t handle the load. This is the reason that AT&T (News - Alert) purchased Wi-Fi company Wayport in 2008. Talk about forward-looking vision. Still, while having your own Wi-Fi network is quite helpful, you certainly can't purchase them all.
Enter Accuris Networks, a company with extensive mobile policy management and authentication software. It has taken this expertise and applied it to the integration of Wi-Fi and mobile networks. I spoke with networking and telecom veteran Steve Shaw, vice president of marketing for the company, to learn more about the company’s efforts in this area.
He told me the company has data centers in North America and soon will have them in the Middle East and China as well. He went on to explain how AT&T is using the service to stitch together a roaming network out of disparate Wi-Fi hotspots with the goal being a homogeneous roaming solution.
You may recall that in 2014 I interviewed the company’s Simon O’Donnell about the company’s AccuROAM platform. In addition, TMC (News - Alert) covered the news of the AT&T collaboration on its Mobile Market Portal approximately a year ago and said specifically the solution addresses common issues with Wi-Fi roaming, such as the time-intensive process of identifying Wi-Fi providers, negotiation of terms, and implementation of Wi-Fi services.
The company has certainly come a long way from the early days. In 2012, in fact, TMC covered the company on the Next Generation Communications Online Community sponsored by Alcatel Lucent – where Carolyn Dawson wrote about Accuris working with Acme Packet. Since that time, Acme has become part of Oracle (News - Alert) along with a number of complementary carrier communications companies.
Steve continued to tell me about how Wi-Fi providers are having a challenge getting paid for Wi-Fi as it is often given away for the price of coffee. I chimed in that often you can get free Wi-Fi in exchange for a Facebook (News - Alert) like or a tweet – something that came up in a meeting I had with Wi-Fi solutions provider Airtight Networks last year. I named that company as one of the five companies to watch this year as you may recall.
This is why it makes sense to partner in this initiative – because you instantly get access to more than 100 million subscribers who could be roaming on your hotspots.
If you’re a wireless ISP or a carrier looking to do something similar to what AT&T has done – be sure to give Steve a shout out.
Edited by Kyle Piscioniere