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Startup Opens Gateways to Wi-Fi Services

Michelle Donegan
LR Mobile News Analysis
Michelle Donegan
4/24/2012
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LONDON -- Strategic Opportunities in Service Provider Wi-Fi -- Swedish startup Anyfi Networks AB has developed software that can turn residential broadband gateways into public access Wi-Fi hot spots that co-founder and CEO Bjorn Smedman claims have "perfect security."

In 2009, Anyfi started work on its patent-pending software, dubbed "Wi-Fi over IP," which creates a secure IP tunnel from the residential gateway to a mobile operator's core network and authenticates users through their SIM cards. The software takes spare broadband capacity and opens it for Wi-Fi access.

From a user experience point of view, it's notable that the Anyfi software does not require users to install a client on their devices or configure their devices in any way. The company calls this feature, "zero sign-on."

Speaking here in London, Smedman claimed that the software "preserves both the mobility and security from the device to the data center or mobile core."

Smedman also talked Light Reading Mobile about Anyfi's business model and how the technology works in the following video interview:



For mobile operators, the idea is that the software will enable them to offload mobile data onto residential gateways and use the fixed broadband connection for backhaul. As Anyfi claims this Wi-Fi connection is encrypted from the device to the operator's core network, an untrusted residential gateway can, from a mobile network perspective, be turned into a trusted non-3GPP access point.

For fixed-line operators, the Anyfi software will let them extend customers' broadband experience beyond their homes. In this scenario, authentication is based on the WPA password that users have already input with their home broadband service.

According to Smedman, Anyfi has been trialing the software with operators for a year now. It has also been working with residential gateway platform vendors so that the software is compatible with 90 percent of home gateways.

The software is pushed to residential gateways through a firmware update, explained Smedman. It's offered on a white-label basis, meaning fixed and mobile operators can build services around this capability as they like, he explained.

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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