Congratulations to Accuris’ own Finbarr Coghlan – for recognition of his continued contribution to working groups within the WBA. The award was presented this week at the Wi-Fi Global Congress in London. Finbarr has been a tireless champion of Carrier Wi-Fi, Next-Gen Hotspots (NGH) and helping Accuris achieve its goal of Connecting Networks.
Accuris Networks Blog
It's hard to believe that Brazilians would want to leave their beautiful country - land of sun, sea and bikinis - but according to the European Travel Commission, some 3 million traveled to Europe in 2012, and that number continues to grow.
Topics: Carrier Wi-Fi
Progress isn't like life -- it doesn't march forward in even increments but depends on random leaps from innovators to improve the technologies we all increasingly depend on. At Accuris Networks, we are fortunate to participate in an industry -- wireless communications -- where rapid change and leapfrogging forward are at the backbone of what we do.
In our market of connecting networks, our longtime goal has been to innovate wherever possible so that our service-provider customers can continually deliver better services more securely at lower cost while ensuring happy subscribers. We push the envelope while our customers like AT&T, Bell Mobility,China Mobile, Telefonica, GoGo, Etisalat,Telekom Malaysia, Spark and others take our technologies out into the overall market and team with us on important initiatives. We constantly keep our eye on what our operator customers need most: Multi-network strategies that transparently and intelligently deliver carrier-grade IP services to a new generation of connected devices and subscribers.
Watch the video attached to see what we say about technical progress but here are some of our more recent innovation milestones:
- AccuROAM: At the heart of our cutting-edge efforts is our AccuROAM™ platform for secure, seamless Wi-Fi offload and roaming, which has received hard-to-get recent awards like "best mobile technology breakthrough" at Mobile World Congress. In a wireless space that can be a bit scattered, AccuROAM helps mobile operators make things work better. With so many "new generations" continually being rolled out -- like unlicensed LTE or low-frequency radio -- our goal is for complicated tasks for users to become easy or automatic.
- AT&T Wi-Fi Hub: When it comes to Wi-Fi roaming, our breakthroughs are having a practical impact for our customers. Consider the worldwide AT&T Wi-Fi Hub, which uses our AccuROAM platform so that carriers can deliver turnkey roaming services at hotspots for a low cost without the difficult, time-intensive process and expensive investments required to offer this service themselves. But we also help carriers that want to quickly launch their own Wi-Fi networks, as you'll see with Mobily.
- Wi-Fi network for Mobily: This operator -- a leader in Saudi Arabia --is among many that have been building out LTE for their core network but found it was not enough to meet subscriber data demand, so they needed to build out Wi-Fi, too. We helped them make sure their Wi-Fi networks were true extensions of their mobile network, whether for voice, data or other services. We also help customers like Mobily keep up with new standards, which seem to appear fast and furiously in our industry. An example is wireless roaming interworking exchange, which requires that Wi-Fi networks must behave like GSM networks during roaming and for charging and data usage information.
- WBA and the Wi-Fi Alliance: While we support our customers in dealing with change, an important element in our ongoing innovation efforts is critical new initiatives. We're an active, key participant in worthy efforts like the WBA's Next-Generation Hotspot (NGH) program to deliver a user Wi-Fi experience that's as easy and secure as that on cellular networks, as well as the Wi-Fi Alliance’s Wi-Fi Certified PasspointTM program based on Hot Spot 2.0 technology, which is creating secure authentication for hotspots.
- Wi-Fi offload and roaming: As an innovator and leader in Wi-Fi offload and roaming, we've been at the center of these initiatives, providing the critical technology to enable seamless authentication and authorization at public Wi-Fi hotspots. These efforts will have a far-reaching impact, particularly in under-developed parts of the world where modern technology has less penetration.
- Bringing Wi-Fi everywhere: AccuROAM was the enabler of GoGo Text & Talk, the first service that lets air travellers perform end-to-end calling and texting on their smartphones using Wi-Fi as if they were on the ground. In fact, our technology is ideal for enabling cellular service in extreme locations such as shipping fleets, oilrigs, remote military installations or almost anywhere people want such service. This just reinforces how subscribers are demanding fast, seamless and secure mobile connectivity regardless of device or location. By including Wi-Fi as a core part of the offer, we help operators to stay in control of a quality experience for subscribers throughout their daily journeys.
- LTE: New standards aren't limited to just the Wi-Fi space. LTE is going to be impacted by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), which unites seven telecommunications standards development organizations so we help our customers ensure that the next generation of Wi-Fi hotspots will have the proper security, tunneling and service in connecting to core networks.
- IoT: Since connecting networks is at the heart of our innovations, we stay on top of other potentially disrupting developments. Big data, particularly the Internet of Things (IoT), is barreling toward us and we will fully support our customers in that explosive arena. A brave new world of connectivity is coming in which billions of new devices, everything from health care devices and smoke alarms to vending machines and dog collars will be sending and receiving data wirelessly and our technology will ensure that the information is securely transferred to the service providers.
Whether it's the cloud-based networks of the future or the time -- already beginning -- when secure, seamless network connectivity can be made in the air and on the sea as well as in the most remote locations, our innovation efforts will continue. Watch this space!
Last year was the much-ballyhooed "year of encryption" during which well-publicized hacks scared some big companies straight into getting serious about security. But users -- those folks who blithely connect to any old public Wi-Fi network can find without a fleeting thought about potential danger -- still don't care.
From Yahoo's newly encrypted email service, Google's extended encryption to search terms and Microsoft's plans to encrypt all data moving on its networks, many important players have got it -- that is, the need for better security. Mobile carriers and Internet service providers made major moves in 2014 to secure their networks. In 2014, T-Mobile introduced new Wi-Fi calling features offering Wi-Fi calling secured by IPsec tunnels. Apple iPhone 6, offered Wi-Fi calling with added security - encrypted calling for the user it means that the voice calls can’t be listened in on like they could be on a less encrypted system or on the existing or open Wi-Fi systems. On the other side of the argument, British Prime Minister this month is proposing a move to block encrypted messaging applications such as What’sApp, iMessage or Snapchat.
A century ago, history was poised for a major technological development that would take place in 1915: the first official transcontinental telephone call -- New York to San Francisco -- enabled by the newly invented vacuum tube amplifier. It's dizzying to think that 100 years later, humans everywhere can get all kinds of information on a little device that easily fits in a pocket. Despite today's breakneck pace of technical innovation, mobile communications is still in for some significant developments in 2015. Here are three initial predictions for what we expect to see happen next year.
Those horror films where evil shadows lurk in the darkness is sort of like using public Wi-Fi networks today -- bad things can happen to unsuspecting victims. But many wireless users still fire up their devices in coffee shops and other public places without realizing their susceptibility to eavesdropping and worse. In fact, one recent survey revealed that 78% of those performing wireless connectivity outside the home or office rely mainly on free Wi-Fi connections -- which are typically provided without encryption and offer immediate access without a password or key. Most users -- 85% in the case of those using 3G or 4G mobile connections -- just aren't concerned about hotspot security. 
They should be. Consider a recent experiment in which a hacker entered a cafe and within 20 minutes of being connected to the network, knew where everyone then online was born, what schools they attended and their recent search histories. With just a bit more effort, he could have retrieved their passwords, stolen their identities and plundered their bank accounts.
Then there's voice over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi). As seen in Apple's new iOS 8 and quickly supported by carriers such as T-Mobile, Sprint and others, it's easy to understand the appeal of VoWiFi -- better coverage and call quality at an attractive price. But what isn't appealing is the usual Wi-Fi security issues, now passed on to voice data.
If only the average public Wi-Fi user was as concerned about security as big corporations. All the well-publicized government hacking has caused 2014 to be dubbed "the year of encryption" as firms like Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and others are now busily encrypting everything they can. But this security paranoia still hasn't infected the average user, it seems -- other than those who have been hacked.
Fortunately, as technology keeps leapfrogging forward, organizations like the Wi-Fi Alliance and Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) are looking out for the user's need for security. The Wi-Fi Certified Passpoint program (also called Hotspot 2.0) creates secure authentication for hotspots and WBA's Next-Generation Hotspot (NGH) program delivers a public Wi-Fi experience that's as easy and secure as that on cellular networks.
For example, at this year's Mobile World Congress, we teamed with Cisco, AT&T and a host of mobile operators to establish a Next-Generation Wi-Fi Hotspot at the conference. Attendees at the conference were able to securely, automatically connect to the Wi-Fi network without cumbersome passwords or pop-ups.
It’s important that someone acts as the gatekeeper when it comes to Wi-Fi security, there is a strong need to plug the gap between cellular and Wi-Fi networks while making the handoff easy and highly secure. There are many technologies out there but utilizing subscriber SIM credentials as the means of authenticating users on any Wi-Fi network for data, voice and messaging services offers the most secure way of doing this. The challenge for the market is to make any type of Wi-Fi access technology work as a full extension of GSM, CDMA or cable networks for billing, policy and authentication so that users don’t know they are moving to a new network just that they enjoy the same secure service.
We understand that many users can't be bothered with all the security rigmarole -- knowing and typing in passwords and PINs and all that -- to access the magic of Wi-Fi. The key for carriers is to secure users without them being aware of it. Since a user's SIM card contains a cryptographic key, the best solution is to use it and let it act like a silent traffic cop, communicating with cellular networks to prove the user's digital identity.
Extending the security of cellular networks to insecure Wi-Fi networks and seamlessly doing the same authentication and authorization will become a moot point for carriers in the coming years. Will the benefit justify the investment in the infrastructure. When it comes to VoWiFi, the technologies need to comply with emerging security standards in the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) -- an important telecom standards organization -- that carriers will implement. In simple terms, vendors need to ensure military-grade encryption when tunneling into the mobile core for network connectivity.
With big companies becoming more manic about security, as a result of government spying efforts, it's comforting to know that whether it's for Wi-Fi or VoWiFi, there are solutions out there providing the critical technology to enable seamless authentication and authorization at public Wi-Fi hotspots and make sure any connection is secure without subscribers breaking a sweat over forgotten passwords. This has obvious appeal to the carriers, service providers and equipment vendors that can now protecting their subscribers' voice and data information in any Wi-Fi network.
Maybe it doesn't matter that users never see the horror lurking in the shadows because the telecom industry can use the newest market technology to make sure it never arrives.
This blog was also published on http://www.policychargingcontrol.com/expert-opinion/3334-wi-fi-security-it-s-time-to-care-about-it
Just because cruise ship guests are playing and relaxing doesn't mean they don't want to use their phones. The problem is that on-board Wi-Fi is notoriously costly - guests are compelled to buy full Internet service even if only requiring voice or text services. Often ship Wi-Fi only allows for communication between apps such as iMessage and Viber and not a user’s own phone number. The downside to seeing spectacular sunsets or relaxing by the pool is that travellers cannot connect with family and friends by simply texting or calling using their own mobile phone, there’s a complicated set-up that needs to be planned before holiday-makers ever leave port. But the award-winning AccuROAM platform solves these problems while giving cruise line operators an easier, more profitable solution for text and voice over Wi-Fi services.
Or do we? The topic of Trusted versus Untrusted Wi-Fi came up in a few of my conversations at the recent Wi-Fi Offload Summit in Palo Alto. Let’s take a look at both from the Mobile Operator’s perspective: