This week EDCH (Emirates Data Clearing House), a leading provider of roaming and settlement services to providers in the Middle East, and Accuris Networks, a leader in Connecting Networks, announced that EDCH will offer the Accuris Wi-Fi Roaming Hub platform to it’s customer base with the goal of enabling Wi-Fi roaming.
Accuris Networks Blog
|The other day I was meeting with a very large company which continues to innovate and disrupt the mobile and Wi-Fi industries. As they so elegantly put it in the meeting - Wi-Fi has both a supply and demand problem - to which we all nodded in agreement.
For this post, I want to cover the supply side - and in particular pricing. Accuris Networks is quite involved in Wi-Fi roaming and offload via SaaS roaming hub platform, and as such, we get insight into wholesale pricing details. Let's just say that many providers are either unaware of the value of their product, or are trying to extract a price premium from a quickly commoditised product.
Case in point - Airplane Wi-FiA colleague shared with me retail pricing from a recent trip on Emirates. Satellite-based on-plane Wi-Fi has got to be one of the most complex, capital intensive deployments of Wi-Fi in the world. Yet for a mere $1 USD, flyers can get up to 500mb of data on the plane!
We regularly see wholesale providers expecting 10x that amount in tariffs.
Basic economics is a balance of supply and demand. The demand is high and supply is catching up!
Mobile Solutions for Wi-Fi
As I've listened to our many customers over the past few years worrying about maintaining competitiveness by deploying different technologies and approaches, the need for using the cloud has increasingly become obvious. Carriers have seen mobile data explode and it's clear they need to add more capacity, faster, and at a lower cost, just to keep up.
I believe Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) is the antidote. It offers the ability to lower CapEx and OpEx, shorten time to market for services, scale up and down as needed and an easier, less-risky way to test and deploy new offerings.
The predictions for where NFV is going are staggering. One report said the global market for NFV will grow at a CAGR of 83.1% between 2015 and 2020, reaching $8.7 billion by the end of that time.* The networking revolution ushered in by NFV is all about greater agility for the companies in the industry and better service for users.
We're doing our part to support our network operator customers with our new virtualised platforms and services. And now I'm proud to say that we've just begun officially delivering our core technology products as virtualised network functions. Here are some key elements of our NFV approach:
The primary aim of NFV is to leverage standard IT virtualisation technology in order to consolidate multiple network functions onto industry standard, high-volume servers, switches and storage sub-systems. This evolution to cloud architectures and managed services will transform the economics of networking for service providers and vendors alike. Being at the forefront of this shift and offering products to make our customers more successful is part of our ongoing commitment to stay innovative.
Giving our customers flexibility in building their networks (traditional or NFV) or the option to outsource the operations into the cloud (SaaS) ensures that Accuris Networks is a key partner in connecting networks. If you are interested in hearing how, with leading service providers, to deliver cloud and NFV systems, contact me at email@example.com and I can tell you more.
Links to additional NFV information
- ETSI NFV Whitepaper-v3
- AT&Ts Domain 2.0 Vison Whitepaper
- NFV Overview from 6Wind
- Telefonica CTO interview on NFV
As active members of Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA), Accuris particpated in Wi-Fi Global Congress in London in May. Discussions at the show were wide-ranging, reflecting the broad role that Wi-Fi is increasingly taking in the strategies of many kinds of providers. That is mirrored also in the remit of the WBA itself. It's core activities revolve around roaming frameworks and the Next Generation Hotspot (NGH) initiative, supporting seamless authentication and hand-off between public WLANs and between Wi-Fi and cellular (here's a link to the MWC/GMSA NGH demo).
The past few years have seen a massive expansion of public Wi-Fi around the world, in parallel the technology platform has been evolving rapidly and is now emerging as a fully carrier-grade network, poised to revolutionize the services and business models which it can support.
Although WBA's CEO Shrikant Shenwai believes that there is significant momentum behind the worldwide expansion of Wi-Fi roaming, only a small number of operators (including AT&T) are offering a service today. Mobile operators typically handle roaming through direct peer-to-peer agreements, relying on well established 3GPP specifications and a long history of working together.
Being younger, the Wi-Fi industry must work through a huge variety of technical and operational issues to reach a point where carrier Wi-Fi roaming can be standardized. The creation of Wi-Fi hubs, joining together traditional carrier Wi-Fi networks as well as Wi-Fi-only properties, is facilitating the Wi-Fi roaming market.
Jonas Trunk, CEO of the leading Brazilian Wi-Fi service Linktel, recently spent time with Acccuris to talk about how Accuris is helping his business.
When asked - would you recommend Accuris? Jonas replied emphatically Yes! In fact he had already recommended Accuris Networks to several colleagues.
There is no higher compliment for acknowledging quality - thank you!
Visit Linktel at http://www.linktelcorp.com
Last year, AT&T announced it was working with Accuris Networks to develop a Wi-Fi Roaming Hub service.
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.
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.