Server can unify WLAN and mobile services

IntelliNet Technologies claimed its latest server would end the problem of mobile data sessions being interrupted by password...

IntelliNet Technologies claimed its latest server would end the problem of mobile data sessions being interrupted by password prompts as users move between wireless LAN hotspots and areas covered by cellular high-speed services.

The Enhanced Authentication Protocol (EAP) Server, announced last month, will also allow operators to charge customers for both wireless LAN and wide-area network (WAN) services on the same bill.

Many users of notebooks, handheld computers and mobile phones can or soon may be able to get high-speed data over a variety of wireless services, including public wireless LANs and wide-area services such as General Packet Radio Service (GPRS).

However, the various networks have evolved separately, so they usually have different systems to identify customers and log their network use.

IntelliNet's EAP is designed to authenticate users of wireless LAN, GPRS, and Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) services and collect information that a carrier can use for accounting and billing.

Customers do not have to enter a user name and password every time they leave one service and go on to another, said Arun Handa, vice-president of engineering at IntelliNet.

Instead, the user's Subscriber Identity Module (SIM), a small card or software application that stores information about the customer, will send information to the EAP server automatically.

The EAP server can share that information over the standard carrier signalling system with the Home Location Register, which authenticates the user, and the Service Control Point, which keeps track of the services on offer and the customer's account information.

Carriers can set up the EAP to work with systems that bill by time or by bits of data, and even for prepaid services, Handa said. They also can use it in conjunction with roaming arrangements with other service providers, such as wireless LAN operators.

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