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Netcom, the Norwegian mobile operator, is offering to build and manage WLANs for enterprises: Netcom also offers 10,000 hotspots globally, I presume partly through roaming deals, so enterprises that hire Netcom to manage their WLANs can also opt to allow their mobile workers to access Netcom’s hotspots. This is a great way for an operator to try to secure large enterprises as hotspot customers. The idea is that the end users can log onto the corporate WLAN and the public hotspots in the exact same way.
This type of service may also help to grow the use of WLANs in enterprises in Europe. I have the impression that the use of WLANs by enterprises is not quite as widespread in Europe as it is in the U.S. Handing off the construction of the network to an operator that presumably is respected as a network builder, is a good way to encourage the use of WLANs. Also, the enterprise doesn’t fully hand all of the management off to Netcom. Administrators can access a provisioning interface to activate and manage users.
Netcom, which is owned by TeliaSonera is using a platform developed by a company called ServiceFactory. A quick breeze through ServiceFactory’s Web site reveals that its platform supports EAP and can interface with RADIUS servers for authentication. It sounds like ServiceFactory’s offering may also support virtual LANs because the announcement notes that businesses can enable guest access.
Posted by nancyg at February 18, 2005 5:10 PM
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