Pronto Networks Unveils Public WLAN Interoperability Initiative with Launch of Pronto Compatible Program

Gemtek Systems is First Integrated Gold Partner; WLAN Hardware from Proxim, Colubris, Nomadix and Other Leading Vendors are Silver-Certified

CANNES, FRANCE – 3GSM World Congress 2004 – February 23, 2004 – Pronto Networks, a leading provider of carrier-class OSS solutions for large Wi-Fi hot spot networks, today announced the launch of the Pronto CompatibleTM Program, an interoperability initiative aimed at building a wider selection of WLAN access points, gateways and switches that are interoperable with Pronto Networks’ leading Hotspot Operations Support System (OSS). The goal of the Program is to offer service providers the flexibility to use hardware from leading WLAN vendors to build out their public WLAN networks. Gemtek Systems is the first Gold Partner to successfully integrate Pronto’s Gold Agent firmware with its carrier- grade public Wi-Fi product line. Interoperability between Pronto’s OSS and Gemtek’s public access controllers will be demonstrated at the 3GSM World Congress 2004 this week.

“Operators are seeking standards-based, interoperable solutions to simplify deployment, service management and network management, as well as lower the total cost of ownership,” said Jasbir Singh, president and CEO of Pronto Networks. “Certifying interoperability between third party access points, access gateways or switches and our OSS under the Pronto Compatible Program will help operators achieve these objectives. It will increase interoperability among key vendors in the public WLAN ecosystem, providing service providers a broader selection of WLAN access hardware choices for building out their public hot spot networks.”

The Pronto Compatible Program has two levels – Silver and Gold – offering hardware vendors both basic and extended interoperability with Pronto’s OSS. The Silver level requires access points and gateways to support RADIUS-based authentication and billing in addition to other basic requirements. The Gold level requires code provided by Pronto to be resident on the firmware of the partner’s hardware. The agent is licensed at no cost to participating vendors. After extensive interoperability testing with Pronto’s OSS, the WLAN equipment is granted the right to display the Pronto Compatible logo signifying that it supports the full set of features for that level.

Benefits of the Silver Level include guaranteed, seamless interoperability with Pronto’s OSS for basic Radius Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting (AAA). Benefits of the Gold Level integration include:

  • Reduced installation costs via auto-provisioning of the hardware from a Network Operations Center (NOC)
  • Improved network monitoring with the ability to monitor WLAN gear through NAT/firewalls
  • Reduced network maintenance costs due to the ability to remotely update firmware
  • Flexible service management, including remote branding of splash page and configuring walled garden pages and other service level parameters, at the operator, franchise and location levels

“We are proud to include Pronto’s Gold Agent in Gemtek’s line of public access controllers and intelligent access points, thereby enabling several features that will streamline deployment and reduce ongoing operational expenses,” said Massimo Fatato, General Manager EMEA of Gemtek Systems. “As part of our global partnership, Gemtek Systems and Pronto Networks are committed to delivering carrier-grade public Wi-Fi solutions to operators around the world.”

To date, Gemtek Systems’ G-4000/G-6000 access controllers and the P-560 Hotspot-in-a-box have been successfully certified as Pronto Gold Compatible. Silver-certified products include those from leading WLAN hardware vendors Proxim, Colubris, Nomadix, and ValuePoint. As WLAN products become Pronto Compatible certified, they will be highlighted on Pronto’s website at: www.prontonetworks.com/prontocompatibleproducts.html.

Pronto Networks and Gemtek Systems will be demonstrating the gold certification benefits at 3GSM World Congress 2004 in Cannes, February 23 – 26 in Hall 2, Stand E23. For more information on the Pronto Compatible Program, please visit: www.prontonetworks.com/prontocompatibleprogram.html.

About Pronto Networks
Pronto Networks, based in Pleasanton, Calif., provides carrier-class Operations Support Systems (OSS) that enable network operators to deploy and manage large public hot spot networks. The company’s software handles provisioning, configuration, authentication, access control, security, pre-paid and post- paid billing, and roaming settlement for large public WLAN networks, in addition to remotely managing and updating multi-vendor hardware and Wi-Fi switches. Pronto Networks is funded by BV Capital, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and the Intel Communications Fund. In 2003, Pronto Networks received several awards including Wired Magazine’s Top 25 Wi-Fi Companies to Watch, the AlwaysOn list of Top 100 Private Companies, and Computerworld’s Innovative Technology Awards. For more information about Pronto Networks, please visit www.prontonetworks.com.

For more information, please contact:
Kristie Heins for Pronto Networks Ruder-Finn, Inc.
(312) 329-3985
heinsk@ruderfinn.com