Singapore - Nokia demonstrated a new Operator Wireless LAN solution with a new authentication feature that encourages corporate users to access the workplace wirelessly.
The solution employs easy and secure authentication based on "smart card" technology that opens the way for operators to offer wireless LAN (Local Area Network) access not only in corporate premises, but also in public locations such as airports.
In addition, the Nokia WLAN solution can now be integrated with virtual private networks (VPN) to enhance the security of broadband wireless access to corporate networks.
The solution was on show at Nokia Connection 2001, the inaugural Asia-Pacific event showcasing the latest Nokia products, and will be on the market within a few weeks.
By making fast and secure mobile access easy and available almost anywhere, mobile-network operators can use the Nokia Operator Wireless LAN solution to set up "wireless offices" in office premises or public locations. Wireless LAN terminals are fitted in laptops and PDAs to allow their users to make wireless broadband connections of 11 mbit/s, with full authentication safeguards.
"The Wireless LAN solution gives companies the ability to extend the reach of the workplace to 'out-of-office' hotspots where their employees are," says Kimmo Kaitala, General Manager, Operator Wireless LAN, Nokia Networks.
"The combination of SIM-based authentication and VPN simplifies access for the user, while simplifying billing for the operator."
Corporate users of WLAN only need to type a PIN code and click "connect" to access the company network. The identification and authentication data is stored on the SIM (Subscriber Identification Module) card used by the Nokia WLAN terminals in their laptops.
With the implementation of this solution in public places with high concentrations of business users, mobile-network operators can tap into a new revenue stream - the idle businessperson. For example, business people waiting in airport lounges can more easily access their corporate networks, allowing them to integrate remotely with the office environment in between flights.
The Nokia Operator Wireless LAN solution also supports non-Nokia WLAN terminals using traditional username and password authentication. In addition, integrating the Nokia VPN into the Nokia Operator Wireless LAN solution can reinforce security.
In order to enable seamless authentication and billing methods, Nokia is investigating new product features to the Nokia VPN client allowing the use of smart card technology to authenticate the user.