Local access to high-speed data (called WLAN or Wi-Fi) is an increasingly important service for users of handheld devices like laptops and notebook computers.
Ericsson believes that integrating indoor and Public WLAN "Wi-Fi hotspots" with mobile 2G and 3G networks is a winning business concept for the future.
The unique combination of the three undisputed leaders in WLAN-technology and mobile systems respectively will ensure that mobile operators get a leading edge in this fast growing market.
The new partnership brings new benefits to both operators and end-users. Ericsson's Mobile Operator WLAN enables operators to integrate WLAN with their existing 2G and 3G mobile business, reusing investments made in core infrastructure, subscriber management, billing and authentication.
"The operators can offer customers attractive value added service packages, combining the different features of both WLAN and mobile technologies, also creating new revenue streams from locally adapted content," says Torbjörn Nilsson, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Business Development, Ericsson. "And since the solutions are based on standard mobile phone SIM-card technology, using public WLAN will be as easy to use as a mobile phone."
From the end-users point of view, it allows them to take advantage of WLANs at hotspots, and roam between cellular and WLAN networks. This is a part of Ericsson's "Always best connected" concept. It also means simpler handling, added security and cost control through unified billing.
Ericsson will tailor solutions for different emerging needs of both fixed line and mobile operators, based on open standards. They will include all necessary components like 802.11b modules, software and SIM technology provided by Agere, 802.11 compliant Access Points for 2,4 and 5 GHz bands provided by Proxim, and IETF/3GPP compliant Authentication Servers provided by Ericsson.