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Intel, Nomadix Show Off Wi-Fi/3G Convergence

Intel and Nomadix are collaborating on an emerging standard that allows seamless handoff between 3G and Wi-Fi networks, the companies announced at the Wireless Event which opened in London Wednesday ( May 17).

Dubbed Seamless Access, it is targeted for use in roaming at public hotspots and is Nomadix's first foray into fixed-mobile convergence. The company is a major supplier of roaming technology that eliminates connection hurdles, increases security, and simplifies the billing process for both users and operators.

Nomadix and Intel said they have been cooperating in industry groups over the last two years to enable Seamless Access roaming at public hotspots. "Seamless Access for public access Wi-Fi networks, including interworking with other networks such as GSM SIM-based network roaming, is an important step forward for the industry," said Dan Dahle, senior strategic architect of Intel.

The companies were amongst others demonstrating Wi-Fi and cellular converged products and services at Olympia.

The Nomadix Service Engine is a Wi-Fi gateway that resides in service provider infrastructure to enable connectivity in public access environments. Embedded on the NSE itself, Nomadix's gateway software automatically adapts to a computer's settings to enable a secure, easy-to-use connection.

The NSE supports new European Telecoms Standards Institute (ETSI) standards for Seamless Access, which augments Wi-Fi Alliance certification and comply with 3GPP and Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standards. Nomadix (Newbury Park, Calif.) says it has shipped 26,000 NSE-enabled units to service providers or municipalities offering Wi-Fi in over 60 countries. "Nomadix already has the capability to provide Intelligent Roaming between NSE points of presence, so fixed-mobile convergence is a logical progression," said Balaji Pitchaikani, CTO of Nomadix. "Nomadix was one of the earliest vendor participants in creating the industry-wide International Roaming Access Protocols (IRAP), which has now become Seamless Access under the ETSI and 3GPP."

Separately, Bluetooth chip specialist CSR plc demonstrated seamless coexistence of its BlueCore4 Bluetooth technology and UniFi-1 Wi-Fi devices.

The company said the various demonstrations prove that the two technologies can sit alongside each other in an end-product design with no effect on the quality of either wireless link, as well as on the host product.

One of the set ups shows that UniFi, complete with UMA compliant 17dBm radio frequency output power, will not interfere with, or be disrupted by, the synchronous Bluetooth HV3 packets, providing a suitable quality of service end to end.

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