Transat Fast Enables Hotspots

By Eric Griffith

March 25, 2003

The WLAN integrator's Fast Enabler software is designed to let any hotspot provider become part of a roaming network, and helps major carrier go Wi-Fi without large deployment costs.

Transat Technologies of Southlake, TX, which rolled out its first commercial product late last year with Swiss company TOGEWAnet, is ready for phase two. This week they announced the availability of software called "Fast Enabler," a product that runs on the core hotspot network and lets users with the Fast Enabler client software roam to other Transat-based hotspots.

The software is running in conjunction with TOGEWAnet's WeRoam service, which lets users seamlessly roam between 802.11 hotspots, GSM, and GPRS networks deployed by, or in partnership with, TOGEWAnet. Fast Enabler is specifically running with Monzoon, a hotspot provider in Switzerland.

Users of the Fast Enabler software can have various forms of authentication, whether with SIM Smart Cards, or even just simple PIN numbers and passwords, according to Transat CEO John Baker.

Baker says the software runs "down to the level of the equipment on a cable modem network," meaning the software will run with any access point out there, including SOHO-targeted units like those from Linksys or D-Link, and still allow authentication and billing of users through the Internet. He sees the software going into use by cable and DSL network operators, who can use to sell other services, such as pay-per-view video. Since special smart client software is used to access the network, it also protects against bandwidth stealing from non-paying customers.

"The carrier can start with a minimal configuration and as they grow, they can roll [Fast Enabler] out," says Baker. "It's very low cost, a fast way of getting up and running....You don't have to forklift or retrofit the existing the hotspots out there."

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