3/11/2004 - The EU commission has signed a Research and Development contract with the Open Broadband Access Network (OBAN) consortium led by Telenor within the European Union 6th Framework Research and Development Programme. The OBAN consortium consists of four leading European telecom operators, as well as various international research institutions, universities. In addition, the consortium includes some industrial partners, among them, two global telecom infrastructure providers, which contribute with terminal and network expertise, and advanced services for local services using infrared and Bluetooth technology.
Birdstep Technology ASA will act as a key technology contributor to the consortium using the Birdstep IP Zone and Mobile IP technologies. These technologies will be used to establish an advanced platform for wireless services, and leverage the vast xDSL and CATV cable deployment to be used as a backbone for wireless networks installed in residential and public locations.
”Providing high quality wireless services to the general mobile/nomadic user over the existing copper cable network represents a new way of offering wireless broadband services to the public. Advanced Quality of Service (QoS) and mobility mechanisms are required to make this happen” says project manager Einar-Paul Edvardsen from Telenor.
The funding scope of OBAN is 5 million EUR over a three-year period, out of which Birdstep is granted 437 thousand EUR with primary focus on prototype development. The funding from the 6th framework programme allows Birdstep to develop new technology components in close cooperation with leading operators, industry and research partners. In this R&D project the consortium will address a wide variety of aspects related to the use of Open Broadband Access Networks, including system architecture, wireless technology, advanced services, as well as the business models that will likely be used by the operators. Three trials are planned during the project in Berlin, Lannion and Oslo.
”The leading mobile operators are currently investing in both GSM, UMTS and WLAN infrastructures and can leverage the technology, services and system architectures to be developed in the project. We believe Open Broadband Access Networks can represent a disruptive change to the way we consider mobile services today” says Stefano Holguin, VP Marketing in Birdstep.
”Birdstep sees new applications for the IP zone product line when used in new market segments such as residential access, and the QoS features to be developed for the platform makes the operator able to provide high quality public services also from residential wireless access points. These services can be simply extended to public cellular and WLAN access networks, as well as into the enterprise networks using the Mobile IP technology for secure seamless roaming for mobile terminals” says Dr. Haakon Bryhni in Birdstep Technology.
About Birdstep Technology
Birdstep Technology is traded on the Oslo Stock Exchange (OSE) under ticker ”BIRD”. The company has headquarters in Oslo and Seattle in addition to offices in London, Boston and San Francisco. Birdstep’s small footprint, high performance database technologies combined with its wireless roaming and access software enables companies to build innovative solutions for embedded systems and the Mobile Internet. Birdstep makes your information accessible anytime, anywhere, on any device and on any infrastructure. Birdstep’s global customers include 3Com (COMS), VERITAS (VRTS), Harman Becker Automotive Systems, HP (HPQ), Accenture (ACN), Telenor (TELN), PCTel (PCTI), Connect One and the National Stock Exchange of India. For more information, visit www.birdstep.com.
The OBAN project introduces an innovative approach to an open access network built upon the existing ”privately owned” wireless LANs and the users' access lines (ADSL/VDSL, optical fibre, cable modems). By providing up to 25Mb/s shared capacity to the stationary and casually visiting users in a wireless LAN zone, the OBAN initiative is probably the only realistic alternative to realize the future 3G and 4G visions for mobile communication. The OBAN concept has the potential to integrate P2P communication into legacy networks, thus new market segments will be opened for network and service providers, and new and improved services can be offered to the customers. The 14 participants of the OBAN project form a rich and creative mix allocated from R&D milieus of industry, telecom companies and institutions of education or independent research. The project is part of the 6th framework program hosted by the EU Commission. An effort of detailed planning was carried out during 2003. The project is now approved and scheduled for execution over a period of three years (2004-2006).
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