With no need for 802.1x support
Service Factory, the number one European supplier of systems for broadband IP-based services and access management, today launched the Orbyte Authentication Manager, a new authentication solution that allows EAP-SIM protocol to be used in Wi-Fi hotspots even though they do not support 802.1x.
Mobile operators have until now been unable to harmonize user authentication and leverage the SIM-card as the unique subscriber identity within Wi-Fi networks. A major part of the existing public hotspots operate on access points that do not support the 802.1x standard, making it impossible to identify the user with the EAP-SIM protocol. Public Wi-Fi users are instead forced to use separate subscriptions handling user-id and password in an inconvenient manner. Existing solutions are complicated for the mobile operators to manage and not well integrated with back-end systems. Upgrading all hotspots to 802.1x, supporting the EAP-SIM protocol, would be a significant investment for the network owners.
The Orbyte Authentication Manager is based on a patent-pending solution that allows the EAP-SIM protocol to be used even though a Wi-Fi hotspot does not support 802.1x. It uses an innovative approach where the user first is authenticated through the Orbyte Authentication Manager towards the mobile operators back-end system. In a second step, the user is https authenticated through the WISP access gateway.
The system removes the urgent need for upgrading the existing networks, allowing mobile operators to roll-out Wi-Fi services with the advantages of SIM-based authentication. Mobile operators do not need to wait for the industry to upgrade all hotspots.
“We believe mobile operators will play an increasingly important roll within the public Wi-Fi area and we are therefore very pleased to offer this cost efficient solution for SIM-based authentication. Operators can now offer a Wi-Fi service that is as easy to use as a mobile phone, all over the world. It’s truly one step towards what we all are waiting for, only one subscription for internet access that always uses the best connection available” says Niklas Heuveldop, CEO, ServiceFactory.