WLANs to Get More Secure
The Fort Lee, N.J., company this week will introduce ReefEdge SPS (Service Provider Solution), a combination of servers and controllers that supports wireless LANs and WANs and links them to enterprise security and management systems. Aimed at carriers, SPS is designed to help service providers persuade enterprise customers to use hot spots, or WLAN access in public places. "What were looking at is to go away from just raw consumer Internet access and position the hot spots as corporate remote access centers," said Inder Gopal, CEO of ReefEdge.
The product suite includes a central management system for service providers that want to control multiple WLAN sites, as well as tools that help integrate the services with billing systems. It also has software that supports encrypted tunnel configuration and management for WLAN users in enterprises as well as at hot spots, a key concern for corporate IT managers.
"We wouldnt put our business on [a public hot spot]. At least in our hub, we can protect our business," said Nathan Lemmon, technical adviser for wireless systems development at Federal Express Corporate Services, in Memphis, Tenn. "We have found that the traditional 802.11b security is not sufficient, so we have a [virtual private network] installed."
Two carriers are testing SPS, but Gopal declined to name them.
One, a wire-line service provider, seeks to combine VPN services with hot-spot services. The other, a wireless carrier in Europe, plans to offer WLAN services as a complement to General Packet Radio Service services.
Agere Systems Inc., meanwhile, is focusing on remote management of WLANs, which should benefit service providers and large corporations with multiple campuses. At NetWorld+Interop in Las Vegas next week, the Allentown, Pa., company will unveil management software that can keep track of "huge networks," officials said.