ROAMING CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE FINNISH WLAN MARKET

Document Sample
ROAMING CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE FINNISH WLAN MARKET Powered By Docstoc
					                             ROAMING CONSIDERATIONS FOR
                            THE FINNISH PUBLIC WLAN MARKET
                                                       Timo Smura
                                            Helsinki University of Technology
                                                 Networking Laboratory
                                       P.O. Box 3000 FIN-02015 HUT, FINLAND
                                      Tel. +358-50-536 9855, Fax +358-9-451 2474
                                                    timo.smura@hut.fi


                                                               The increasing popularity and decreasing prices of
Abstract                                                       WLANs have motivated innovative people to find new
                                                               kinds of applications for the technology. Although
Wireless local area networks (WLANs) are becoming              originally designed for extending or replacing
increasingly popular in offices, homes, and public             traditional wired LANs, WLANs are currently used also
places. In public “hotspots” such as airports and hotels,      to provide fixed broadband last-mile access to
these networks can be used to provide broadband                households, and to offer broadband data services in
wireless connectivity for people on the move. In               public places such as airports, hotels, and conference
Finland, hotspot networks are operated by TeliaSonera          centers.
and DNA Finland.
                                                               Public WLANs are built to provide wireless
Because of interference issues, only one WLAN                  connectivity in places where there is demand for high-
network can usually be built in one hotspot site. This         speed data services. The most lucrative places for public
leads to competition between the operators of the              WLANs have been those where many people carrying
hotspot locations. Otherwise, the barriers for operators       laptops have extra time to use the services. These so-
to enter the public WLAN market are sufficiently low.          called hotspots include e.g. airports, hotels, conference
A number of different players are expected to enter the        centers, and cafes. Accordingly, the target end-user
market, with different kinds of backgrounds. The               group for the services has been mainly traveling
business models pursued by the players may vary                businessmen and women.
considerably.
                                                               WLANs operate on 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz unlicensed
Roaming agreements can be used to enable subscribers           frequency bands. Because of the unlicensed nature of
of one operator to access their services using networks        the bands, the transmission power of the devices is
of other operators. A number of different roaming              limited, resulting in limited range and coverage of
models    exist,    including    bilateral   agreement,        WLAN cells. Thus, even a small hotspot place may
clearinghouse, and roaming broker models. By far, the          require multiple access points for sufficient coverage. In
Finnish public WLAN operators have used bilateral              adjacent cells, different frequency channels have to be
agreements to enable roaming with international                used to avoid interference. A maximum of four non-
partners. National WLAN roaming is not available,              interfering channels can be used in the 2.4 GHz band,
decreasing the service coverage of all operators and           making it difficult or even impossible to build several
hindering the success of the whole public WLAN                 overlapping WLAN networks in one building or area. In
market.                                                        the 5 GHz bands the problem is less significant, as the
                                                               number of non-interfering channels is significantly
Key Words                                                      higher (between 8 and 18, depending on the region and
                                                               equipment). 5 GHz WLANs, however, are not very
WLAN, hotspot, roaming, value system                           widely used, and therefore not yet suitable for public
                                                               hotspots.
1. Introduction
                                                               Because of the interference issues, hotspot site owners
Wireless local area networks (WLANs) are becoming              are often reluctant to allow many operators to build
increasingly popular in offices, homes, and public             WLAN networks in their premises. The operator that
places around the world. The success of the technology         first builds a network to hotspot premises holds a strong
results largely from the emergence of the IEEE 802.11          position and is unlikely to be replaced to another
family of standards. Mass production of standardized           operator very soon. As the number of WLAN operators
chipsets has lowered the prices of WLAN equipment to           in a certain geographical region is likely to be higher
a level suitable for most consumers and enterprises.           than one, problems occur. Operators cannot reach all the
Certification of interoperable products by the Wi-Fi           potential customers, and customers cannot access their
Alliance has lowered the risk of customer lock-in to a         services in all the WLANs in the area.
single manufacturer.
                                                               The solution to the problems is roaming. Roaming
                                                               means that subscribers of a certain operator are able to
access their services using networks of other operators.     certain industry. For this purpose, Figure 1 shows a
Without roaming agreements, subscribers have to pay          simplified public WLAN value system.
separately to different operators in different places they
are visiting, causing harm and decreasing the value of
the services.                                                                 Network        Roaming      Service
                                                                Site owner
                                                                              operator     intermediary   operator
The aim of the paper is to introduce the business models
of different players in the public WLAN market, as well
as roaming models that could be used between the                      Figure 1: Public WLAN value system
players. These models are then contrasted to the current
situation among the Finnish WLAN operators. Three
operator cases are discussed in more detail, including       The site owners own the rights to the locations where
Sonera HomeRun, DNA WLAN, and Vantaa Energy                  WLAN hotspots are deployed. Building a WLAN
Wivanet services.                                            hotspot usually requires permission from a site owner.

The rest of the paper is organized as follows. In section    The network operator installs, operates, and maintains
2, the main players in the public WLAN market are            the required equipment in the hotspots, including e.g.
introduced and placed in a simple value system               the WLAN access points, access controllers, switches,
framework. In section 3, the concept of WLAN roaming         and cabling.
is discussed, and possible roaming models are
introduced and analyzed. In section 4, three WLAN            The service operator owns the customers, and is
operator cases from Finland are introduced. Finally,         responsible for marketing, customer care, and end-user
section 5 concludes the findings of the paper.               billing.

2. Players in the public WLAN market                         Between the network and service operators, one or more
                                                             roaming intermediaries may exist. These intermediaries
The concept of public WLANs is wide, and could               provide e.g. clearing and settlement of the revenue
include e.g. the following types of networks:                shares between operators. Roaming is possible also
                                                             without any intermediaries by bilateral agreements
        Commercial hotspots in public places such as        between the operators.
         airports and hotels
                                                             The value system model introduced above is
        Broadband last-mile access networks covering        deliberately simplified to serve the purposes of this
         city-wide areas                                     paper. In reality, a number of other actors are required
                                                             to implement complete systems and services, including
        WLAN networks in enterprise guest areas             e.g. backbone network operators, equipment and system
                                                             suppliers and integrators, and content providers.
        Free WLAN networks provided by e.g.
         restaurants and cafes as a value-added service      2.2 Players and their roles in the value
         to customers                                        system
        Free community and neighborhood networks            The players in the public WLAN market can be
                                                             classified based on the their backgrounds and other
Most of the public WLAN networks are commercial,             businesses, as well as on their role in the value system.
although in some cases the access to the networks can
be free. Free WLANs could be seen as a threat to the         The first classification is based on the backgrounds of
commercial WLAN operators, but not treated in this           the players. Currently, WLAN services are offered by
paper any further.                                           e.g. the following kinds of players:

2.1 Public WLAN value system                                          Mobile and fixed line operators, providing
                                                                       WLAN services as a complement to their
Porter (1985) introduced the concept of value chain as a               other data service offerings
basic tool for systematically examining all the activities
a firm performs and their interactions. Furthermore,                  Greenfield operators, providing         WLAN
Porter defined a value system as a larger stream of                    services as their main business
activities, comprising of the successive value chains of
multiple firms acting as suppliers, channels, and buyers              Site owners, providing WLAN service in their
to one another.                                                        own premises, both as a means to tempt more
                                                                       customers and as a source of additional
Value chain and value system are valuable tools for                    revenues
firms in analyzing sources for competitive advantage.
Simplified value system figures are also often used to       The second classification is based on the roles of the
recognize the key players and their interactions within a    players in the public WLAN value system. The most
                                                             important types of roles are listed in the following:
               Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs)                                     only one WLAN network can be deployed in a
                that offer services in their own WLAN                                           single location.
                networks, as well as roaming services in
                networks of other operators                                                    Coverage area of the WLAN access points is
                                                                                                small, making it costly to build and operate a
               Wholesale network operators that build and                                      nationwide network
                manage WLAN networks and sell capacity to
                roaming brokers and service operators                                 Roaming gives two kinds of benefits to the operators,
                                                                                      i.e. larger user base and larger footprint. Inbound
               Roaming brokers that buy capacity from                                roaming increases the usage of the operator’s own
                network operators and resell capacity to                              networks, giving rise to higher revenues. Outbound
                service operators                                                     roaming increases the footprint of the operator, making
                                                                                      the service more attractive to customers.
               Clearinghouses that provide clearing and
                settlement services between network and                               3.1 Roaming models
                service operators
                                                                                      WLAN roaming can be organized by making bilateral
               Virtual WISPs that do not own any networks,                           roaming agreements with each roaming partner or by a
                but buy capacity from network operators or                            multilateral roaming agreement with a clearinghouse or
                roaming brokers and offer services to their                           a roaming broker.
                own subscribers
                                                                                      When using bilateral agreements, the operator makes
Figure 2 illustrates these roles in the public WLAN                                   roaming agreements separately with each selected
value system.                                                                         partner.

                                                                                      Multilateral roaming agreements can be made either
                                   Network            Roaming           Service       with roaming brokers or with clearinghouses. A
                  Site owner
                                   operator         intermediary        operator
                                                                                      roaming broker buys capacity from many network
                                                                                      operators and then resells it to service operators at a
 Non-
 roaming
                   Site owner                          WISP                           higher price. A clearinghouse provides merely the
 Bilateral                      WISP / wholesale                 WISP /               clearing and settlement services for operators that still
                   Site owner
 roaming                        network operator              virtual WISP            can agree on the details of e.g. pricing by bilateral
 Multilateral
                   Site owner
                                WISP / wholesale   Clearinghouse /        WISP /
                                                                       Any operator
                                                                                      agreements. A network operator can also exclude some
 roaming                        network operator   roaming broker      virtual WISP
                                                                                      service operators from the agreement, and vice versa.

 Figure 2: Roles in the public WLAN value system                                      Table 1 shows typical characteristics of the different
                                                                                      roaming models.

                                                                                               Table 1: Roaming model characteristics
The terms introduced above often have different
meanings in different sources. The classification                                     Roaming model      Bilateral     Roaming       Clearinghouse
introduced above is based on the personal views of the                                                    model      broker model        model
                                                                                                                                     Multilateral +
author.                                                                               Agreement type     Bilateral    Multilateral
                                                                                                                                        Bilateral
                                                                                      Cost of
                                                                                                           High          Low           Medium
3. WLAN roaming                                                                       agreements
                                                                                      Time-to-market       Slow          Fast          Medium
Roaming enables subscribers of an operator to access                                  Control over
                                                                                                           High          Low             High
                                                                                      roaming partners
their services using networks of other operators. The                                 Control over
charges collected from the subscribers are shared                                                          High          Low             High
                                                                                      roaming tariffs
between the home operator and the visited operator                                    Control over
                                                                                                           High          Low             Low
according to an agreement between the two. Inbound                                    technologies
roaming agreements allow visiting subscribers to use                                  Tariffs paid to                                Transaction-
                                                                                                           None      Usage-based
                                                                                      intermediaries                                    based
the operator’s network, whereas outbound roaming
agreement allows own subscribers to use the networks
of other operators.
                                                                                      3.2 End-user and operator requirements
In the case of WLANs, the importance of roaming is
                                                                                      From the end-user perspective, mobile data services
even higher than in mobile networks. This is due to the
                                                                                      should be ubiquitous, reliable, affordable, and
following reasons:
                                                                                      convenient and easy to use. WLAN networks provide
               Barriers to enter the market are sufficiently                         the users with increased convenience when using
                low, resulting to a high number of operators.                         services with high throughput demands. WLAN
                                                                                      roaming provides the means to make the footprint of
               The use of unlicensed frequency bands limits                          these services larger. To retain the convenience,
                the number of operators in one site. Usually,                         roaming services should be implemented so that the
end-user experience remains the same both in visited               SIM authentication, the home AAA server has
and home networks.                                                 interfaces to the home location registers (HLR),
                                                                   charging gateways (CGw), and on-line charging
From the operator perspective, it is important to be able          systems (OCS) of the mobile operators, as specified in
to serve all the potential roaming customers. This means           3GPP TR 23.234.
that e.g. the authentication methods have to be such that
are supported by current WLAN terminals. Roaming                   Technology-wise, WLAN roaming is straightforward to
should be arranged in a way that minimizes the need for            implement and take into use. The lack of roaming
upgrades in the existing WLAN networks.                            agreements among Finnish WLAN operators therefore
Nevertheless, the roaming architecture should support              results from the strategic decisions made by the
smooth upgrades to new network technologies.                       operators. The following section gives more insight to
                                                                   the public WLAN market in Finland.
3.2 Technical solution for WLAN roaming
                                                                   4. Public WLANs and roaming in Finland
From a technology point-of-view, the solution to
WLAN roaming is simple and well documented.                        The Finnish telecommunications market is dominated
Regardless of the roaming model used, the roaming                  by three major players: TeliaSonera, Elisa, and the
architecture is based on AAA (Authentication,                      Finnet Group. Each of the players has both fixed and
Authorization, and Accounting) servers, that proxy the             mobile network operations. In addition to these, a
AAA information between each other. The roaming                    number of service operators are active both in the fixed
architecture is illustrated in Figure 3.                           and mobile markets.

 Network operator
                        Roaming intermediary
                                                Service operator
                                                                   Currently, both TeliaSonera and Finnet Group have
                         (Clearinghouse or                         their own WLAN service offerings targeted to
  (Visited WISP)                                 (Home WISP)
                          roaming broker)
                                                                   enterprise users and traveling businessmen. Elisa has
      AAA                      AAA                  AAA            built some WLAN networks for pilot and trial purposes,
      Server                   Server               Server
                                                                   but does not have commercial WLAN services
     RADIUS               Direct AAA exchange                      available.
     Access      User
    controller   data          Internet                            The current structure of the public WLAN market in
                                                    Billing        Finland results largely from the merger of Telia and
                                                                   Sonera in 2003. Before the merger, Telia had already
     Access
      Point                                                        built some WLAN hotspots in Finland, but was forced
                                                                   to sell all its Finnish operations. Finnet Group acquired
      Wi-Fi
                                                                   these operations, which gave its mobile service operator
                             Roaming user
       Laptop                                                      DNA Finland an opportunity to quickly launch WLAN
                                                   End user        services. At the same time, Sonera re-branded its
                                                                   service to HomeRun, according to Telia’s HomeRun
                                                                   service. Figure 4 illustrates the course of actions.
  Figure 3: WLAN roaming architecture (Adapted
             from Wi-Fi Alliance 2003)
                                                                          Sweden                          Finland
The architecture can be used to provide roaming
between all the players in the public WLAN market,                          Telia                Sonera           Telia
including mobile operators, greenfield operators, and                     HomeRun                wGate          HomeRun
site owners.
                                                                                     Telia and Sonera merge,
                                                                            DNA Finland buys Telia’s Finnish operations
802.1x and EAP (Extensible Authentication Protocol)
based access control and authentication mechanisms are
recognized as the long-term solution for WLANs. The
                                                                            Telia                Sonera             DNA
majority of end-user terminals, however, do not yet                       HomeRun               HomeRun             WLAN
have support for those. To serve these customers, the
so-called Universal Authentication Method (UAM), i.e.
web-browser based authentication has to be supported.               Figure 4: The effect of TeliaSonera merger on the
The roaming architecture introduced above is flexible in                      Finnish public WLAN market
that it supports a variety of different authentication
methods to be used at the same time. Solutions for the             In addition to Sonera HomeRun and DNA WLAN
coexistence of UAM and 802.1x/EAP have been                        services, there are no active WISPs providing services
introduced e.g. by Intel (2003).                                   in hotspots. Large-scale deployment of site owner
                                                                   operated WLAN hotspot networks is also yet to be seen.
In the case of mobile operators, SIM (Subscriber                   Airports, hotels, and conference centers have given the
Identity Module) based authentication can be used to               rights to the mobile operators. Only a few cafes are
authenticate the users. This will become more important            offering WLAN services for their customers by
when the new WLAN-integrated mobile devices such as                themselves.
the Nokia 9500 Communicator become popular. For
A somewhat distinctive characteristic of the Finnish        “one operator per site” principle is clearly visible, and
WLAN market are the city-wide WLAN networks                 WLAN operators have pursued to strike deals with
deployed mostly by energy companies in the cities of        complete hotel chains at once.
Vantaa. These companies are competing in the fixed
broadband access market against e.g. DSL and cable          Sonera HomeRun pricing is time-based. In addition to a
modem operators.                                            monthly fee, the subscribers are charged on minute-by-
                                                            minute basis. Table 3 compares the pricing of Sonera
In the following cases, three Finnish public WLAN           HomeRun service to TeliaSonera’s mobile data services
operators are introduced. Sonera HomeRun and DNA            in Finland (TeliaSonera Finland 2004b)
WLAN services are offered as complements to the
mobile GSM and GPRS data services of the operators.         Table 3: Pricing of Sonera data services (VAT excl.)
Vantaa Energy’s Wivanet service is introduced as an          Service                               €/       €/       € / MB
example of the city-wide WLAN networks.                                                          month    minute
                                                              Sonera Company Data 1               3.36       -          -
4.1 Sonera HomeRun                                             GPRS and EDGE                        -        -       1.9456
                                                               High-speed data, 1 channel           -     0.18*
                                                               High-speed data, 2-4 channels        -     0.26*         -
TeliaSonera Finland acts as WISP in the public WLAN            HomeRun WLAN service                 -      0.37         -
market, offering services in its own hotspot networks.        Sonera Company Data 2                15        -          -
The company offers both UAM and SIM-authentication             GPRS and EDGE < 100 MB               -        -          0
methods. Services were launched in 2000 under the              GPRS and EDGE > 100 MB               -        -       1.4336
brand name Sonera wGate. After the merger of Telia             HomeRun WLAN service                 -      0.37         -
                                                              Separate Sonera HomeRun service     3.36     0.33         -
and Sonera in 2003, the service was renamed to Sonera       * + 0.09 € per call
HomeRun.
                                                            In addition to the hotspots in Finland, Sonera HomeRun
TeliaSonera has been very proactive in signing              customers can use the Telia HomeRun hotspots located
contracts with major airports, hotels, and conference       in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, as well as in certain
centers in Finland. According to a contract with CAA        airports in Europe and in the USA. TeliaSonera Finland
(Civil Aviation Administration) Finland, Sonera             has also made roaming agreements with several
Homerun services are available in all of the airports in    European operators, listed in Table 4.
Finland. It is also providing WLAN services in five
Silja Line ships cruising in the routes Helsinki-              Table 4: Sonera HomeRun roaming agreements
Stockholm, Turku-Stockholm, and Helsinki-Tallinn.
(TeliaSonera Finland 2004a)                                 Operator             Countries
                                                            Telia HomeRun        Sweden, Norway, Denmark
                                                            Swisscom Eurospot    Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands,
The company has also launched a Corporate Service                                United Kingdom
Area service for companies wanting to offer WLAN            BT OpenZone          United Kingdom
access to guests and visitors in the company premises.      Orange               France
Currently, however, only three companies have been          Metronet             Austria
                                                            Elion                Estonia
reported to have taken this service in use.
                                                            Kubi Wireless        Spain
Table 2 shows the number of active hotspots for both
TeliaSonera and DNA Finland.
                                                            The total number of hotspots available in for Sonera
  Table 2: Commercial WLAN hotspots in Finland              HomeRun customers is about 2.000. As of now,
                                                            TeliaSonera Finland has not made any national roaming
 Hotspot type                     Sonera      DNA WLAN      agreements.
                                 HomeRun       (1.3.2004)
                                (22.3.2004)
 Hotels                             118           36        4.2 DNA WLAN
  Sokos / Radisson SAS             35/6           0/0
  Cumulus/Rantasipi/Ramada        23/9/5         1/1/5      DNA Finland runs the mobile service operator business
  Scandic                             0           14        of the Finnet Group. In May 2003, DNA acquired the
  Others                             46           15        businesses of Telia Finland that was acting as a mobile
 Airports                            25            1
 Conference centers, business        19           14
                                                            service operator and also operating a number of Telia
 parks etc.                                                 HomeRun WLAN hotspots in Finland. After the
 Enterprise guest areas          36 (total)    6 (Finnet    acquisition, DNA launched its WLAN services under
                                  3 (non-       offices)    the brand name DNA WLAN.
                                  Sonera)
 Mobile phone stores                  8           0
 Ships                                5           0
                                                            As shown in Table 2, a majority of DNA WLAN
 Restaurants, cafes                   5           6         hotspots consists of hotels and conference centers. In
 Other                               20           2         March 2003, DNA announced that it will expand its
 Total                              236           65        WLAN footprint to 180 Hesburger fast-food restaurants
                                                            around the country. The number of new hotspots is very
                                                            large compared to the existing base of DNA WLAN
As the table shows, a half of the Sonera HomeRun            hotspots. The deal is interesting also in the sense that
hotspots are located in hotels. In the hotel market, the    Hesburger has done close co-operation with Saunalahti
that is a mobile service operator and one of DNA’s                             Table 7: Wivanet pricing (VAT incl.)
rivals in the mobile market.                                         Service                             Connection     Monthly
                                                                                                          tariff (€)    tariff (€)
DNA offers three different types of WLAN                             Wivanet 128/128                          60          24.90
subscriptions, based on flat-fee, usage-based, and time-             Wivanet 512/512                          60          39.90
based pricing. Table 4 shows the pricing of DNA data                 Wivanet 1M/512                           60          59.90
services (DNA Finland 2004).                                         Wivanet Koti (2M/2M, shared              60         35 per
                                                                     between multiple households)                      household
                                                                     Wivanet Yritys (2.5M/2.5M)              150           150
 Table 5: Pricing of DNA data services (VAT excl.)
 Service                             €/         €/         € / MB
                                   month      minute                A Wivanet subscriber is allowed to use the service in
 dna Corporate Subscription         6.50         -            -     the whole coverage area of the network. Vantaa Energy
   High-speed data, 1 channel         -       0.096           -
   High-speed data, 2-3 channels      -       0.205           -
                                                                    markets the service as one that could be used at home as
 dna Corporate GPRS                13.648        -            0     well as in cafes and outdoors. True coverage e.g. inside
 dna WLAN gold                       90          -            -     public buildings is, however, very questionable as
 dna WLAN silver                     40          -          0.05    separate in-building hotspots have not been built.
 dna WLAN base                        5        0.25           -
                                                                    City-wide WLAN network operators have made an
                                                                    agreement on roaming services. The agreement covers
DNA Finland has made international roaming                          eight cities in Finland, as shown in Table 8 (Radionet
agreements with 4 different operators and a total of                2003).
about 200 hotspots. These operators are listed in Table
6.                                                                             Table 8: Wivanet roaming agreements
                                                                    Operator             Area
     Table 6: DNA WLAN roaming agreements
                                                                    Haminan Energia      Hamina
Operator              Countries                                     Suomen 4G            Lahti
Netpoint              Radisson SAS hotels in 19 European            Mäntsälän Sähkö      Mäntsälä
                      countries                                     Porvoon Energia      Porvoo
Kubi Wireless         Spain                                         Rauman Energia       Rauma
Monzoon Networks      Switzerland                                   Netsafir             Vaasa
TDC Mobil             Denmark                                                            Leppävaara area in Espoo



By far, DNA Finland has not made any national                       The city-wide WLAN operators have not by far made
roaming agreements.                                                 any roaming agreements with hotspot operators.

4.3 Vantaa Energy Wivanet                                           5. Conclusion
Vantaa Energy is an energy company, providing                       The paper discussed the business models of the players
electricity, district heating, and natural gas to residential       in the public WLAN market and possible roaming
and business customers in and around the city of                    models between them. These were contrasted to three
Vantaa. In 2003, the company launched its Wivanet                   different Finnish WLAN operators.
wireless broadband services based on WLAN
technology.                                                         WISPs can choose between a number of different
                                                                    strategies and roles in the public WLAN value system.
The Wivanet service is a result of the co-operation of              In other countries, wholesale network operators and
several companies. Vantaa Energy acts as the network                virtual WISPs have emerged, and WISPs have widely
operator and also owns and bills the customers. The                 contracted with clearinghouses and roaming brokers. In
network technology is provided by Radionet, a Finnish               Finland, however, the main players have pursued the
WLAN equipment manufacturer. The network has been                   traditional WISP model with bilateral international
built as a turn-key service by Digita, a company                    roaming agreements. The full potential of roaming has
responsible for national transmission and broadcasting              not been made use of.
networks as well as radio and television stations in
Finland. ISP services are provided by Tele2.                        From a technical point of view, WLAN roaming is
                                                                    possible to implement in a way that would suit all the
The Wivanet network provides broadband last-mile                    different players in the market. The clearinghouse-based
connections to residential users and SMEs. Therefore, it            WLAN roaming architecture is technically feasible and
is competing with e.g. ADSL and cable modem services                perhaps the most viable solution to fulfil the
provided by other operators. The network consists                   requirements of different types of players. Bilateral
currently of more than 100 base station sites and more              agreements are also a viable option, at least between the
than 300 WLAN access points with sector antennas                    bigger players.
installed at the sites. The network covers over 50
percent of the households in Vantaa, the target being 80            The lack of national roaming agreements results from
percent in the end of 2004. Pricing of the Wivanet                  the strategies driven by the operators. Bigger players do
subscriptions is shown in Table 7 (Wivanet 2004).                   not want smaller players to utilize their networks.
Clearly, the situation is not beneficial for the public
WLAN market as a whole. End-users have to pay
separately to a number of operators depending on the
places they visit, decreasing the willingness to use the
services at all. Finnish operators should take co-
operative actions in order to make WLAN roaming
available, fuelling the growth of the whole mobile data
market.

References
3GPP TS 23.234 V2.4.0 (2004-01), 3rd Generation
Partnership Project; Technical Specification Group
Services and System Aspects; 3GPP system to Wireless
Local Area Network (WLAN) Interworking; System
Description (Release 6)

DNA Finland, 2004. DNA WLAN hotspots 1.3.2004.
http://www.dnafinland.fi/yrityksille/liittymat_ja_palvel
ut/wlan/toiminta-alueet.pdf (Referenced 28.03.2004)

Intel Corporation, 2003. Wireless LAN (WLAN) End to
End Guidelines for Enterprises and Public Hotspot
Service Providers. Release 1.1, November 2003.
http://www.intel.com/business/bss/infrastructure/wirele
ss/deployment/e2e_wlan.pdf (Referenced 28.03.2004)

Porter, M.E., 1985. Competitive advantage. New York:
Free Press.

Radionet Oy, 2003. “Finnish WLAN operators launch
roaming service”. Press release 11.11.2003. Espoo:
Radionet.

TeliaSonera Finland, 2004a. Sonera HomeRun service
areas. Available at: http://www.sonera.fi/eng.
(Referenced 28.03.2004)

TeliaSonera Finland, 2004b. Sonera’s wireless
communications services for business. Price list March
15, 2004. Available at: http://www.sonera.fi/eng.
(Referenced 28.03.2004)

Wi-Fi Alliance, 2003. Best current practices for
wireless internet service provider (WISP) roaming,
version 1.0, February 2003.
http://www.wi-fi.org/OpenSection/downloads/WISPr_
V1.0.pdf (Referenced 28.03.2004)

Wivanet, 2004. Wivanet web-site.
http://www.wivanet.fi/. (Referenced 28.03.2004)

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:19
posted:3/25/2011
language:Finnish
pages:7