Lucent Technologies successfully demonstrates seamless roaming between WiFi and 3G UMTS wireless networks
Laptops users able to move from a 3G network to an 802.11 wireless local area network "hot spot" with no interruption in service
Lucent Technologies today announced the successful seamless handoff of a wireless data call from a "WiFi" or wireless local area network (WLAN) to a third-generation (3G) Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) network, enabling mobile laptop users to browse the Internet while roaming between the two network types with no interruption in the session.
Using Lucent's 3G UMTS network equipment, and a laptop PC equipped with a UMTS test mobile phone, a Proxim ORINOCO(R) 802.11 WLAN card and ipUnplugged's Roaming Gateway client/server software, users were able to initiate a secure Internet session on an 802.11 WLAN or a 3G UMTS network, and maintain it while moving from one network to the other.
The successful testing incorporated a key standard established by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), Mobile IP, that enables seamless inter-technology handoffs between 802.11 and 3G technologies, which are essential to maintaining "always-on" high-speed mobile Internet connections. This technique is made possible by a unique mobile network architecture developed by Bell Labs.
"Lucent is strongly focused on giving UMTS network operators the end-to-end solutions they need to offer attractive new services to business customers," said Bruce Dale, vice-president for UMTS product and offer realization for Lucent's Mobility Solutions Group. "This achievement will serve to enhance a mobile worker's wireless experience by giving them continuous access to the information they need using the fastest technology available in any given location."
These capabilities have tremendous applicability today in the enterprise marketplace, particularly for workers that need to access substantial volumes of information while on the move. For instance, this technique would allow an IT field service engineer to begin downloading large files -- such as technical schematics -- from a wireless LAN at his dispatch center, and continue to receive this information while en-route to a service call, cutting response times substantially and making the travel time between locations more productive.
This 3G and WLAN seamless roaming capability is an integral element of Lucent's recently introduced portfolio of end-to-end wireless data solutions that will allow business customers to access essential applications -- such as e-mail, company databases and internal Web applications -- behind corporate firewalls via third-generation (3G) UMTS and CDMA2000 (TM) wireless networks. Lucent's Secure Mobile Data Solutions for Enterprises portfolio will enable mobile professionals to use their laptop PCs or PDAs to access all the applications they normally use, with the same level of security and performance they typically enjoy in their office. The end-to-end offer also addresses the need for combined billing for services on the 802.11 WLAN and 3G UMTS and CDMA2000 networks, and simultaneous one-time provisioning of users on both types of networks.