GSM-WLAN Roaming Enabled

By allNetDevices Staff

February 15, 2002

Vendors to demo combined technologies.

A system will be unveiled next week that enables seamless roaming between 802.11 wireless local area networks (WLANs) and GSM wireless networks, according to the three companies that developed it.

Performance Technologies, Transat and t-net say they will show their integrated roaming technology at the 3GSM World Congress next week in Cannes, France. The companies say users will be able to roam between the networks with a single identity and receive a single bill.

Such technology could encourage the trend by wireless operators to provide WLAN public access points that connect their users directly to the internet.

Users with 802.11-enabled devices install Transat's software and, if they haven't already, a standard SIM card used with GSM phones to store basic user information. The service also uses t-net's WeRoam technology that links together WLANs and connects them to GSM networks via Performance Technologies' gateway.

Initially, the system will work with laptop computers only, but the companies said they are developing a handheld version of the combined technology.

The WeRoam solution, according to t-net, will be rolled out in two stages -- roaming between WLAN networks will be launched initially, followed by roaming between GSM/GPRS/UMTS and WLAN netwroks. After its brief trial phase, t-net anticipates commercial launch of WeRoam in the third quarter of 2002.

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