New Technology Improves Sign Up Experience and Enhances Security for Mobile Windows Users at Public Wi-Fi Hot Spots
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – ITU Telecom World 2003 – October 13, 2003 – Pronto Networks, a leading provider of carrier-class OSS solutions for large Wi-Fi hot spot networks, today announced that its public Wi-Fi Operations Support System (OSS) supports the Microsoft Wireless Provisioning Services (WPS) technology that provides Windows XP users a seamless sign up process, making their wireless connections at public hot spots easier and more secure. Pronto’s support for this standard provides wireless ISPs (WISPs) an integrated platform to easily provision and manage users on public hot spot networks.
WPS technology, announced today by Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT), was launched to address the fragmented user experience and security challenges at public hot spots today. WPS allows WISPs to seamlessly and automatically provision and configure a mobile client used to connect to the Internet or corporate network, thus offering a consistent sign up experience for users with every connection.
“With Microsoft’s WPS architecture, the front-end sign on process is greatly simplified and made more secure, “said Jasbir Singh, president and CEO of Pronto Networks. “With Pronto’s OSS, all back-office functions, including network deployment and service management, are significantly simplified. Together, Microsoft and Pronto now provide an end-to-end architecture that offers auto- provisioning and configuration features that will enhance the end-user experience.”
Pronto’s OSS runs on Microsoft server platforms and supports multiple authentication schemes, including Microsoft IAS (RADIUS), LDAP, and .NET Passport. Other supported WPS requirements include a two-phased secure access authentication beyond IP address filtering which enables ad hoc users to easily login and self-provision their services. In the future, Pronto plans to integrate its current XML-based capabilities in support of Microsoft’s built-in Hot Spot Directory and branding capabilities. Both Pronto’s OSS and Microsoft’s WPS leverage XML schemas and web services.
“Microsoft and Pronto Networks are dedicated to supporting industry standards, such as 802.1X, Protected Extensible Authentication (PEAP) and Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA), to improve ease of use and make wireless connections at public Wi-Fi hot spots secure,” said Shai Guday, group program manager of Windows Networking and Communications at Microsoft. “Wireless Provisioning Services builds on these standards, enabling network operators to automatically provision and configure mobile clients to create a consistent sign-up and connectivity experience.”
WPS will be available to registered Windows XP users via the Windows Update site in the first quarter of 2004. Pronto’s OSS support of WPS in its OSS platform will be available in the same timeframe.
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 Draper Fisher Jurvetson and the Intel Communications Fund. In 2003, Pronto Networks has 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:
Pronto Networks, Inc.
Kristie Heins Ruder-Finn, Inc.