Aptilo and ipUnplugged today announced complete interoperability between their solutions for carriers and service providers, enabling automatic login at public hotspots for employees running Mobile-VPN. Combined with a CDMA, GPRS or a 3G subscription, a true seamless roaming experience is achieved for the corporate users -- all billed on one subscription.
One of the dominant trends in the telecom industry is communications convergence, or providing users with the ability to easily hop from one wireless network to another without a great deal of aggravation or difficulty. There are today a number of vendors that provide wireless gateways or switches allowing devices to jump from one Wi-Fi network to the next, but the best way to roam between multiple networks is from the device itself.
Aptilo and ipUnplugged both have products well suited for managed services. By combining the two, a service provider can offer its corporate customers a managed service across both public and private WLANs. Aptilo's solution manages the public hotspots and the public guests to the enterprises, while ipUnplugged's solution manages the corporate Mobile-VPN. Employees are given a Mobile-VPN client, while guest users can pay for Internet access via pre-paid options or existing accounts associated with the mobile phone.
"The ability to seamlessly switch from higher-priced cellular networks to lower cost 802.11 systems and back again presents significant ROI benefits for both the service provider and its enterprise customers," said Lars Boman, CEO of ipUnplugged. "And in this economy, the technologies and solutions that can pay for themselves relatively quickly are the ones that will catch the eye of corporate IT managers."
Security is the single most important issue holding back widespread use of hotspots. Since most hotspots operate with no data encryption, many IT managers are reluctant to permit their mobile workforce to connect back to their corporate networks.
"Many IT managers have set up their clients' notebook computers so that the VPN is on at all times," said Torbjorn Ward, CEO of Aptilo Networks. "This will result in difficulties when VPN enabled clients sign up for access in a hotspot and attempts to roam to another network while maintaining the same session, which is an advantage for certain business applications. Aptilo and ipUnplugged have now enabled a solution to overcome such difficulties," continued Ward.
Aptilo develops and provides system solutions to operators of public wireless and wired hotspot services and provides hotspot management services to local venue owners.