M. Juutilainen, J. Ikonen, and J. Porras (Finland)
Access network, multiple operators, Operator Interface, regional network, user routing, Wireless LAN
The development and popularity of wireless local area
network (WLAN) technologies has led to enormous drive
towards regional (wireless) networks. Usually regional
networks are administrated by a single ISP (Internet
Service Provider) which grants access to its customers.
Network access is denied from customers of other
operators. To join the network, a user has to make a
contract with the operator.
This paper proposes a new solution for connecting
multiple operators to an already existing regional network,
and keeping the network open for everyone (if wanted).
The regional network can be, for example, a citywide
wireless network. Operators, such as ISPs and
organizations, manage the connections to the outer
networks (for example Internet or organizations own
intranet). The connection between the regional network
and operators is done via Operator Interface, which is a
cluster of servers located between these networks. All the
inter-network traffic travels through Operator Interface,
where the traffic can be monitored and controlled. Using
Operator Interface, the regional network can be kept open
and free for everyone. At the same time, operators are
separated from the actual regional network infrastructure.
The solution offers new opportunities for operators,
service providers and users.