Thursday, February 16, 2012

Alcatel-Lucent seeks to eliminate Wi-Fi log-in woes

Alcatel-Lucent has developed a system called LightRadio that it says will help people to easily connect to Wi-Fi connections at home or hotspots when on the move.

The company said that LightRadio would allow people to move between 3G mobile connections, personal Wi-Fi and public Wi-Fi hotspots seamlessly by removing the need to log-in to different networks.

"Switching from a cellular service to a Wi-Fi network is not always seamless, particularly when it requires first finding a network and then getting through complex log-in and password procedures," Alcatel-Lucent said in an announcement on Tuesday.

"LightRadio Wi-Fi simplifies this process by allowing people to switch automatically from a cellular service to residential or public Wi-Fi networks and hotspots without having to login, worry about payments schemes, or even be aware of the shift," it added.

The company said the process is achieved in three ways: through software identification and connection to 'trusted' networks; by introducing new features into providers' networks to manage the transition between Wi-Fi and mobile networks, and by integrating Wi-Fi directly into small-cell base stations and mobile networks.

Alcatel-Lucent also said the system would provide enhanced security, particularly for people connecting to public Wi-Fi hotspots, by always connecting to the most 'trusted' network.

The company said it is already in talks with "major Wi-Fi access point" companies.

"LightRadio Wi-Fi represents a radical departure from the traditional way that mobile operators apply Wi-Fi: today it is often used to 'offload' traffic from congested cellular networks. By enabling cellular subscribers to stay within their network and service plan, it will allow service providers to maintain use of their services, creating revenue, independent of how the customer is connected," Alcatel-Lucent said.