Arris, BelAir combo on hotspot networks
Arris is introducing a centrally managed Wi-Fi hot zone system that the vendor says can be deployed quickly and could achieve payback on investment in as few as three months. The Rapid Launch Hot Zone System integrates products from Arris, BelAir Networks and SolutionInc Limited.
AT&T boasts of an extensive national network of Wi-Fi hotspots. Cablevision and Comcast are among the MSOs who are trying to add a mobile component to their broadband services by establishing hotspot networks of their own.
The Rapid Launch Hot Zone System runs through any CMTS, although Arris recommends its DOCSIS 2.0-qualified C3. An Enterprise Hot Spot Management System from SolutionInc provides centrally managed hot spot connectivity, authentication, billing and messaging capabilities; and Wireless Access Points from BelAir Networks provide Wi-Fi access coverage as stand-alone or networked devices.
This base configuration can accommodate up to 2,500 simultaneous users, 16 SSID (Service Set identifier) and 8 virtual access points with individual service level configurability. The system allows virtually unlimited scalability by adding radios, enterprise servers and CMTS capacity.
Tom Williams, vice president of marketing and business development for Arris, said, “We call it 'Wi-Fi Made Simple' because once venues are determined, our customers can literally be operational in a few hours.”
Rapid Launch provides MSOs with robust capabilities, including centralized management that enables operators to manage and bill numerous commercial customers, who may have hundreds or thousands of end users. It integrates with third party billing systems, and can accommodate multiple pay-per-use options, including credit cards, e-mail accounts and access codes, Arris said.
The system also enables location-specific services, which can consist of one venue or a group of venues under one account. Venues can be managed individually for billing, authentication, bandwidth, messaging and marketing.
Tiered bandwidth service offerings give MSOs the ability to charge premium rates for faster connections, and enhanced marketing features enable providers or their business customers to push specific marketing and advertising content on customized "welcome" and "registration" pages based on their locations.