Broadbeam's Uni-Fi Combines Wi-Fi and 2G+ Networks Seamlessly

3/10/2004 - As increasing numbers of mobile personnel find themselves utilizing the growing number of Wi-Fi spots and 2G+ networks to maximize their productivity, they face daunting challenges. Broadbeam Corporation, which has more than 10 years of expertise in providing mission-critical mobile solutions to enterprises, announces the ultimate solution. The company's Uni-Fi Networking Initiative (Uni-Fi) ensures a true one-networked experience for mobile personnel regardless of the number of Wi-Fi and 2G+ networks used. Through partnerships and patented technology, Broadbeam's Uni-Fi intelligently combines the strengths of Wi-Fi (high speed and low cost) with the power of 2G+ networks (coverage) in the most intelligent and seamless manner available.

"We believe that issues such as coverage, security, reliability and transparency of wireless technology must be addressed to significantly increase adoption rates," said Janet Boudris, Chairman and CEO, Broadbeam Corporation. "Broadbeam's Uni-Fi Initiative offers the ultimate solution to achieve maximum coverage while minimizing cost and providing complete transparency to the mobile user, while our Mobile Solutions System (MSS) framework offers proven and scalable products that address security and reliability."

Uni-Fi is based on one of the most innovative products in Broadbeam's MSS mobile framework, MSS IntelliSwitching(tm). As the core component of Uni-Fi, MSS IntelliSwitching enables mobile users to automatically connect and seamlessly switch to available Wi-Fi and 2G+ networks including 802.11 a, b and g, GPRS, GSM, 1xRTT, CDMA, iDENS and new networks such as EVDO and EDGE. Even while stationary (no network switching), IntelliSwitching automatically re-connects to the wireless network during typical disconnect/connect cycles of wireless technology.

With its built-in intelligence, MSS IntelliSwitching allows customers to select any combination of 2G+ network carriers or Wi-Fi providers and can pre-define the priority order of the networks. MSS IntelliSwitching maintains the application while switching networks, which is completely transparent to the end user, and provides for upload and download resilience during coverage gaps and manages disconnects/re-connects.

MSS IntelliSwitching is currently offered in combination with an assortment of proven Broadbeam products, and will become available as a standalone offering in June 2004.

How It Works
When a mobile user boots up their application for the first time in a day, MSS IntelliSwitching automatically connects that application to the available network based on pre-defined rules. There is no need to open up multiple connections to networks or to select a network manually. For example, if the mobile user is in a Wi-Fi area in the office, warehouse or public hot spot and then moves outside of Wi-Fi coverage, the application will continue to run while the network connection is automatically and seamlessly switched to the 2G+ network available on the device. When the mobile user moves back into a Wi-Fi area, his/her connection will seamlessly switch to the Wi-Fi network to minimize costs and enhance performance. MSS IntelliSwitching continues to detect and seize networks in a designated order until a connection is established.

MSS IntelliSwitching is available with MSS ExpressSync(tm) powered by ExpressQ® and MSS ExpressQ. These products enable companies to develop new applications with smart clients and embed into the application the capability to compensate for wireless networks> ' coverage and performance limitations. They use a proven, secure and reliable message queuing technology to exchange data between the client and server and offer fully optimized wireless network connectivity, security, virtual IP addressing and better device battery life. IntelliSwitching with these products offers application persistence and the ability to pre-define the type of data sent/received per network. For example, a user can decide to only send large files while in a Wi-Fi area to maximize performance and minimize cost.

Uni-Fi Results are Powerful
Two companies have already rolled out their mobile solutions using Uni-Fi with new applications under extremely mission critical circumstances:

London Ambulance Service (LAS), the world's largest free ambulance service, is utilizing MSS IntelliSwitching for real-time ambulance dispatch to serve an area of approximately 620 square miles. It is imperative in this life saving service for the LAS medical personnel to be totally focused on their job, sending and receiving vital information and never concerned with which networks are available, and when. Each LAS vehicle is equipped with two GPRS/GSM devices (different carriers) and 802.11 to ensure optimum wireless coverage. When a LAS vehicle goes out of coverage of one network, Broadbeam automatically switches the application to another available network for seamless communication at all times, with the ability to switch among five different wireless technologies. And it's all transparent to the LAS medical personnel.

CSX Transportation, the core business unit of CSX Corporation and operator of the largest rail network in the eastern United States, is also using MSS IntelliSwitching to facilitate its Wireless Work Order application for train conductors. The custom-built solution from CSX Technology enables conductors to report on their work progress in real-time throughout the day via ruggedized, touch screen devices. According to CSX, there were a number of determining factors when selecting a mobile platform provider. The winning combination was Broadbeam's ability to offer seamless network switching from the CSX local area network to 1xRTT or GPRS, and the ability to integrate with Broadbeam's other product - store and forward message queuing technology. For example, when a conductor is out of coverage of both 802.11 and WWAN, data is stored locally on the device and when coverage is re-established, the data is automatically exchanged. Ultimately, conductors can now focus on the job at hand and continue to work seamlessly without thinking about wireless availability.

Additional Availability
Broadbeam will be introducing a new version of MSS Smart IP® in April, which will incorporate MSS IntelliSwitching. Smart IP enables existing applications, without modification, to run more effectively and efficiently over wireless networks. Running "underneath" existing applications, Smart IP significantly reduces the amount of data the application sends and receives over the network resulting in improved end user response time and device battery life. IntelliSwitching with Smart IP will provide application persistence through coverage gaps, network switches, disconnect/re-connects and changing IP addresses. It also provides security, authentication and virtual IP addressing (required for push applications).

Beginning in June, Broadbeam will also offer a MSS IntelliSwitching(tm) client version designed for using existing HTTP/FTP applications with multiple wireless networks.

About Broadbeam
Broadbeam Corporation is the leading provider of solutions that provide mobile personnel the capability to exchange real time information with an enterprise securely and reliably, resulting in increased productivity and greater business efficiencies. The company> 's extensive partnerships with carriers, device manufacturers, SIs and application providers ensure high quality end-to-end solutions.

Broadbeam offers highly specialized professional services and the Mobile Solutions System(tm) (MSS), a mobile framework, to enterprises, ISVs and other partners to create measurable value for real-time enterprises. MSS provides adaptive, proven and scalable products across a broad range of devices to extend existing applications into a mobile environment and to develop and deliver new mobile solutions.

Broadbeam has the highest number of large enterprise mobile deployments worldwide with over 300 customers, including BellSouth, FedEx Ground, Hertz, London Ambulance Service (LAS) and SBC Communications.

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