VeriSign tests WiFi-WWAN roaming service

The convergence trend continues. Mountain View, California-based VeriSign said yesterday that it was conducting trials on the campuses of three major universities aiming to integrate on-campus WiFi with any WWAN carrier network. The service will be called Wireless IP Connect Service; it will be used mainly for connecting mobile and WiFi networks, but the technology can also connect devices with an IP connection such as wired Ethernet to a wireless carrier. The universities taking part in the trials are the University of Michigan, Northwestern University, and Texas A&M University.

One of the three divisions within VeriSign which will contribute to the trials is the one handling communications between the SS7 network, the single protocol used by the entire phone network for call setup, management, and tear down. SS7 also handles the connections among the various incumbent local exchange carriers, competitive local exchange carriers, and wireless operators. This division will allow subscribers to roam on and off WiFi networks to a cell phone, notebook, or desktop computer for data and VoIP. The technology in effect emulates a wireless switch, with the IP networks appearing to the mobile network as just another switch, converting IP protocols into SS7. Dual mode phones will be required to take advantage of the service, and VeriSign will give these handsets to students and faculty as part of the trial.

For more on VeriSign convergence trials:
- read this press release

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