Wireless LAN Interoperability With GSM
BY BOB MASON
For those who use laptops and PDAs when traveling, the opportunity to
obtain hassle free, reliable, and secure high-speed data access is
extremely attractive. But the many different access networks and
inconsistently applied billing approaches have made todayï¿½s service
availability frustrating to users. Transat Technologies and Performance
Technologies recently introduced an open standard solution for
interconnecting wireless local-area networks (WLAN) and cellular networks
that support the worldï¿½s most popular wireless technology: GSM. This
innovative wireless solution enables people to access the Internet at true
broadband speeds, up to 11 Mbps, while authentication and billing occurs
on their regular GSM cellular accounts.
This new integrated solution makes high-speed data access from
alternate locations as easy as using a cellular phone. And therein lies
the important difference. Instead of being provided by independent and
diverse service providers, wireless operators with large customer bases
can now bring a consistently applied service offering to their current
subscribers. They can use off-the-shelf hardware, high-speed access with
the widely accepted 802.11b standard, the flexibility of GPRS-GSM
protocols and their own SS7 networks to offer a service to customers
without major changes to their existing operating infrastructure.
To use this solution, the end user needs a laptop that supports the
802.11b standard protocol, either built-in or as a separate card, and
secure client and server-based application software. An IP/SS7 signaling
gateway translates IP network-originated validation queries into SS7
network queries that access GSM accounts for authentication and billing.
Once the subscriber is authenticated, the Internet session begins and is
charged to the subscriberï¿½s account. The authentication, authorization,
encryption, billing, mobility, and management are all GSM-compliant. To
those operators developing 3G networks, this solution offers a chance to
provide customers high-speed Internet access now, in advance of the
implementation of next-generation networks, which could still be a number
of years off.
Bob Mason is director of marketing at Performance Technologies, Inc.
Please visit their Web site at www.pt.com.
To The May 2002 Table Of Contents ]