Wednesday, April 09, 2008

"WIRELESS: New approach seeks to bridge gap to mobile Internet"

Wireless network operators faced with providing more IP services to mobile handset users have been targeted by IP-only systems specialists who are seeking to link conventional circuit switches and the Internet's data-packet switches. Stoke Inc. (Santa Clara, Calif.), for instance, collapses the security gateway, session manager, deep-packet inspector and quality-of-service functions into a single add-on device that offers IP services--from YouTube and MySpace to Google and voice-over-IP--to as many as 100,000 mobile handsets. Stoke's Session Exchange (SSX) system, a hybrid hardware/software solution, is intended to fit between an Internet backbone and a network operator's existing application-subscriber control and management systems. According to Stoke, SSX integrates circuit-switched voice service with packet-switched IP service for 2G and 3G mobile users. It also provides a path for mobile users to migrate to 4G devices and faster Wi-Fi and WiMax connections. Currently, for instance, iPhone users must leave the AT&T network when using Wi-Fi capabilities of their iPhones. Stokes claims its SSX family will enable 3G and 4G handsets to switch from circuit-switched networks to faster Wi-Fi and WiMax packet-switched networks while remaining connected to the same mobile carrier.