Feeds

Sagem springs hotspot in a box

Home brew

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top three mobile application threats

The Wi-Fi revolution seems to have been fought from the ground up, writes Rob Bamforth of Bloor Research. War chalking, hitching a ride on unprotected corporate wireless LANs. It all seems very subversive. The truth is somewhat different.

Like other ideas before it - radio, home computers, the Internet, cybercafes - wireless networks have moved from hobbyist fun to big business. Hotspots are becoming points of presence for national and international carriers. After all, do hotels or coffee shops really want to deal with the day to day IT realities of running a wireless LAN?

You could outsource the IT side, of course, or it could be centrally managed by the carrier. But what if you want to have your own little hotspot, with your own charging system, cyber café style? If you have a network connection and really want to sell wireless access time over that network, there is a cheap easy way to do it.

French company Sagem has a hotspot access controller in a box. Nothing new in that idea, but this includes a built-in authentication and billing system. There's no need for a server or even a local personal computer to run the hotspot. The box houses a wireless LAN access point, router and the mini payment system. There are three versions of the product. The F@ST 5100 has no built-in modem, the 5600 has an ADSL modem for a standard telephone line and the 5640 for an ISDN line.

Access is controlled and managed by a short-term user name and password. This is generated from a small printer attached to the access controller. The printer has - software writers make note - only one button. Each time it is pressed in quick succession amounts to a time period for access. One press gives half an hour, three presses 90 minutes, and so on. Laptop users don't need any special software. When they launch a browser, a login window appears and the user name and password are used for access for the paid for period of time. Simple, eh?

Simple, and potentially effective - no complex contracts, no complex IT infrastructure. This is a low risk approach to adding 'hotspot' to complement an existing service. The access point will only service a small area and, in theory, up to 100 simultaneous users. Bandwidth and the use of 802.11b might be the only constraints. The hotspot operator can access the unit from a web browser if they want more control, and can configure the access time, login page and even offer free access to certain pages, perhaps for advertising.

This is a simple idea, simply executed. There may be challenges concerning reselling access from the broadband carrier, but otherwise this is self-contained. It may seem in the spirit of home brew computing or radio hams, but it adds another interesting dimension to the growth of hotspots.

© IT-Analysis.com

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.