Adding Meaning To Mobility

DQC Bureau
New Update

With mobility assuming a new meaning in the changing global business environment, partners need to implement newer communication architectures to help enterprises offer their employees anytime, anywhere access to its network. But while addressing these needs, partners will also have to take care of the billing model and possible value-adds that they could provide.


Given the nature of today´s global business environment, the word ‘mobility’ has assumed a new dimension. It has

extended beyond the concept of top executives traveling across the world, finalizing important business deals. With information becoming a very important corporate asset, access to it anytime and anywhere has become all the more important. 

Therefore ‘mobility’ in today´s business parlance is virtually carrying along one´s office, while traveling across the globe. A corporate network is only useful if it is convenient and accessible to authorized users, wherever they are working. 

The network should help enterprises enable secure, Ethernet speed connections to the Internet in Hotspots, or popular locations, frequented by business travelers including airports, hotels, convention centers, and other public places who need access. This would help employees stay productive while on the move.



To make access on demand possible partners would need to implement a solution that would enable enterprises to build a unified communications infrastructure to connect to the Internet. The solution should include fast, easy-to-access wireless connections at mobile Hotspots, convenient billing and settlement services. 

With this kind of a network infrastructure, mobile executives would be able to establish the connection wherever and whenever they need. All they would need to do is carry a wireless LAN adapter for access to broadband Internet.

Such a solution´s architecture will consist of switches in the wireless environments that communicate with the service provider´s broadband services management gateway. This gateway would in-turn act as a ‘toll gate’ that provides network access to end-users. 


Besides, partners should also enable this gateway to deliver customized wireless access and management services to mobile professionals on the move from a standard web browser. 

Apart from connecting Hotspot users to the Internet via a router that provides high-density, dedicated access to the public network, the gateway should also be able to handle call accounting, authorization, reporting, policy and management functions and deliver localized content to multi-user locations. 


One of the major grouses of mobile office applications is billing for the connectivity as it becomes difficult for enterprises to consolidate and disburse payments for different service providers. 


Partners should look at offering mobile office solutions that provide enterprises with the flexibility to use third party settlement service. This service will help enterprises consolidate access charges from multiple networks into a single bill providing seamless roaming facilities to mobile executives. 

In order to bring this into practice, enterprises must establish agreements with third party settlement aggregators to perform consolidated billing for their wireless Hotspots. 

Enterprises will be able to use these third-party settlement services to increase the access footprint for their subscribers and to consolidate access charges from multiple public access networks into a single bill for their enterprise customers. 


By aggregating services from ISPs who administer Hotspots, third-party settlement services can deliver roaming services and centralized billing that provide convenience for mobile professionals and cost savings for the companies they work for. 

These third-party settlement systems authenticate each user for network access and generate one integrated bill per company.

Third-party settlement providers for Hotspots can enable organizations to negotiate corporate relationships and pricing agreements that cover access for their mobile employees. They can establish flexible billing options, such as pre-paid and post-paid arrangements, calling cards or credit cards. 

With these services, companies need only deal with one service provider of their choice while getting the benefits of roaming between access locations, if needed, while traveling.



The use of such broadband service gateways will enable service providers to efficiently provision and bill for wireless access by acting as ‘toll gates’. Ideally in such a situation, the broadband service management gateway has to issue an IP address to mobile users when they attempt to connect to the Internet. It should then authorize users or connect them directly to the Internet or ask them to authenticate. 

With this kind of a broadband service gateway, service providers can also configure the gateway with a set of IP address that are open for anybody to use at a particular Hotspot thereby enabling free Internet access to users. 

The broadband service gateway should also be able to track access time by gathering information from a ‘Radius’ server and should be able to collect, consolidate and report billing information. This type of a broadband service gateway can then be used as a front end billing mechanism at Hotspots for Internet access. 


In hotels, for example, the gateway would function as a front-end billing mechanism, enabling the hotel to bill a mobile professional for their Internet access, if desired. 

Along with LAN switches this kind of a broadband services gateway manager would offer another step in ensuring consistent performance throughout a network Hotspot. 

The gateways´ network management tools would have to provide additional troubleshooting features and support, as well as performance tuning features like bandwidth throttling, which limits users to a maximum bandwidth based on parameters set in the service provider´s Radius server. 


Partner can also look at enabling these broadband service gateways function as customized information portals in airports, hotels, convention centers, or other public places. For example, in an airport Hotspot, service providers can use localized portal capabilities of this kind of a broadband services gateway manager to deliver information about rental cars, shuttles or local attractions at no charge to users as part of a ‘Walled garden’. 

This walled garden would grant network users access to limited information prior to authentication. If they choose, users can agree to pay for more extensive broadband services. In a hotel, the gateway could also act as an electronic concierge, providing information about local weather, restaurants, or special events.

Just as organizations are thriving to find ways and means to capitalize on the huge amounts of information they are continuously amassing, this kind of an infrastructure will be able to provide true mobility to executives traveling across the globe. 

By facilitating ease of access to information by providing Internet connectivity at Hotspots, this kind of service architecture allows traveling executives to effectively harness the power of Internet to access proprietary information as well as value-added content from various service providers.

And for partners who can spot the immense opportunities lying ahead in this domain, their businesses can get an envious advantage over their counterparts.

SUNIL BHATT is Chief Technology Officer at Allied Digital Services