HP Serves Up Wi-Fi Italian Style

By Michael Singer

May 22, 2003

The computer and printer maker drives trial services of Wi-Fi hotspots in a deal with Telecom Italia and talks up a commercial broadband coup with Telefonica de Espana.

Hewlett-Packard wrapped up a European tour this week with two new support system deals in its pocket.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based computer and printer maker said Wednesday its hardware and software is managing trial services of Wi-Fi hotspots for Telecom Italia . HP also highlighted its commercial broadband deal with Telefonica de Espana that it finished in mid-April.

The hotspot contract entails a test of more than 20 locations with varying topographies. If successful, the rollout could begin as early as later this year. Unlike the rest of Europe, there are only a handful of registered hotspots along the Italian peninsula. Most are located in metro areas like Rome, Milan, Parma, Bologna, and Venezia.

Telecom Italia's vision is based on the TeleManagement Forum eTOM (electronic Telecom Operations Map) Model with HP's OpenView software to manage infrastructure and services. eTOM serves as the blueprint for process direction and the starting point for development and integration of Business and Operations Support Systems (BSS and OSS respectively). The framework applies both to retailers and wholesalers in the telecommunications industry. The goal is to combine the various management functions for network and IT operations.

HP has some background helping manage hotspot infrastructure. Last year, the company's marquee deal with T-Mobile helped bring Wi-Fi to Starbucks around the globe.

"Telecom operators need to reduce costs and they are looking especially at their OSS environments," said HP vice president Sebastiano Tevarotto. "Telecom Italia is among the first to trial Wi-Fi services in Italy and to leverage the full advantage of HP OpenView's ability to manage completely both IT and IP infrastructures."

In related telecom news, HP said it has completed a provisioning and management package using its OpenView platform. The deal with Spanish-owned Telefonica covers configuration and inventory for a new broadband service over Metro Ethernet network to transmit data for commercial customers.

Telefonica de Espana is the leading telecommunications operator in Spain (the operating unit of Group Telefonica) with more than 13 million subscribers.

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