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Aruba Networks Releases New White Paper on Operating T-Mobile HotSpot@Home Over Adaptive Broadband Wireless LANs

3/2/08 - Aruba Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARUN ), a global leader in wireless LANs and secure mobility solutions, today announced the availability of a new white paper, "The T-Mobile HotSpot@Home UMA Service on a University or Enterprise WLAN." Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) protocol, an ITU/3GPP cellular standard, is a form of fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) in which a phone has a single number for both cellular and Wi-Fi networks.

The phone automatically switches to Wi-Fi when it detects good reception from a suitable access point, returning to cellular mode when the device loses a usable Wi-Fi signal. The white paper describes how to support T-Mobile's HotSpot@Home UMA service using an Aruba wireless LAN.

Within enterprise FMC there are different UMA architecture options that vary depending on how closely mobile phones are linked to the enterprise PBX, where the phone numbers are hosted, and what voice and data calling features are offered on the phones. T-Mobile's HotSpot@Home service supports a range of dual-mode cellular/Wi-Fi devices that implement the UMA protocol. By operating independently of a PBX, UMA is well-suited to universities and enterprises that do not rely on PBX-based 4- or 5-digit numbering plans. No other national cellular operator in the U.S. offers a service comparable to T-Mobile's, putting it in a unique position to benefit students, schools and enterprises alike.

"The T-Mobile HotSpot@Home UMA Service on a University or Enterprise WLAN" white paper explains how an Aruba wireless LAN can be used in support of the HotSpot@Home service. Key topics include: authentication requirements; advertising a suitable SSID; implementing firewall rules; end-to-end quality of service; bandwidth requirements; call admissions control; and emergency call handling.

"UMA has the potential to greatly expand a carrier's coverage area while driving down connection costs, but these benefits can only be achieved if the wireless LAN on which UMA depends is highly reliable," said Peter Thornycroft, author of the Aruba white paper. "The areas in which UMA is likely to be used -- apartments, dormitories, food courts, atriums, libraries -- are challenging radio environments because of the density of devices in use and the varied sources of radio interference. A single interference-free radio channel is not available in these environments, so the Wi-Fi network needs to dynamically and intelligently select channels and adjust power levels as sources of interference come and go. Otherwise network support costs will skyrocket and user satisfaction will nosedive. The new white paper builds on Aruba's deep experience with large-enterprise Wi-Fi voice networks, and provides both an architectural overview of UMA and the features required to reliably support T-Mobile's HotSpot@Home service."

Aruba's Adaptive Radio Management (ARM) technology lowers Wi-Fi deployment and maintenance costs by automating site surveys and using infrastructure-based controls to optimize the performance of Wi-Fi devices in real-time. Acting on their own, Wi-Fi devices do not always work cooperatively, or select the optimal band, channel, or access point. These issues are exacerbated in settings with densely packed users, such as those typically found in university and enterprise UMA deployments. ARM controls how Wi-Fi devices interact, thereby helping to ensure that data, voice, and video applications have sufficient network resources to operate properly. The result is a better wireless experience.

By Robert Hoskins

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