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RoamPoint Links Hotspots

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Light Reading
4/6/2004
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LODON -- The WiFi access marketplace today takes a leap forward with the introduction of a new service platform that promises to transform the way in which consumers use public access WiFi. RoamPoint (www.roampoint.net), an independent service platform supported by key industry players, launches today to empower seamless global roaming agreements between WiFi networks and service providers. By enabling comprehensive roaming services, RoamPoint opens the way for the WiFi industry to at last offer an easy and consistent WiFi experience to the end user wherever they connect.

One of the key problems facing WiFi users to date has been the inability to roam into different networks' hotspots. This has meant that users are limited to using the hotspots of their specific service provider or a limited number of other hotspots where they may have to logon using a different procedure. Roaming agreements enable WiFi users to access services at many different network's hotspots and are the key to opening up this restricted market. However, the technical difficulties inherent in facilitating these agreements has made them hard to implement and operate in practice.

Supported by Intel and developed by founder member The Cloud, RoamPoint removes these difficulties. RoamPoint is a technical intermediary between network operators and service providers. By connecting to RoamPoint once, service providers and hotspot networks can implement multiple roaming agreements between each other easily. Users are then able to gain access at any hotspot using the same logon method everywhere. By creating a consistent and easy to use interface for consumers with WiFi hotspots, RoamPoint promises to drive up usage and revenues across the WiFi value chain.

By enabling seamless roaming between competing WiFi networks' hotspots, RoamPoint will remove the frustration faced by consumers used to searching for the 'right' hotspot. Working with key GSM clearing houses, RoamPoint allows WiFi network providers to quickly and easily integrate into the back-end systems of third party service providers such as mobile telcos and ISPs who are looking to integrate a WiFi network into their mobile data offering.

The arrival of RoamPoint is also demonstrating significant excitement within the industry. Key industry players such as Dan Net A/S, Transnet Technologies, Wifix from France and Arymyx from Germany have already welcomed the new platform. Announcements on new service providers to connect to RoamPoint are expected in the near future.

Allan Jakobsen, CEO, Dan Net A/S, added: "This initiative taken by RoamPoint is a major step forward to allow inter operator roaming, which will enable our worldwide customer base of GSM operators to take part in the expanding WiFi market."

Mike Pisterzi, President and CEO of Transat Technologies, commented: "We're excited to be associated with RoamPoint as we believe the service will be the catalyst to revolutionise the global PWLAN user experience. We are therefore delighted to be RoamPoint's SIM-based PWLAN authentication platform partner of choice."

Claus Bjoernsten, European Manager for Intel's Mobile Platforms Groups, comments: "We are excited about the RoamPoint global roaming hub as it will enable service providers to more easily offer their customers a consistent, single bill access to a world-wide foot print of public WLAN hotspots - and in turn significantly improve the public WLAN user experience with customers of Intel's Centrino Mobile Technology based notebooks."

Leon de Beer, RoamPoint Director, said: "This is about making roaming easier for hotspot networks and operators alike and delivering an easy and consistent experience to the end user wherever they connect. By driving forward the type of roaming deals that are common in the GSM space, RoamPoint will enable WLAN providers to offer the type of service that customers have come to expect."

George Polk, Managing Director of The Cloud, said: "The Cloud has long recognised that allowing inter-operator roaming is an essential part of expanding WLAN usage worldwide. RoamPoint is ideally placed to provide this service and we are pleased to work with both RoamPoint and Intel to ensure the technical and economic dynamics behind the venture are in line with the demands of current infrastructure providers."

RoamPoint

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