Pronto Networks Plays Key Role in Intel's Digital Communities Initiative

8/22/2005 - Pronto Networks, a leading provider of carrier-class operations support systems (OSS) for managing large-scale Wi-Fi hot spot and hot zone networks, announced that it is a part of Intel’s Digital Communities initiative designed to help communities use a wireless infrastructure to expand and improve services for municipal governments, businesses and citizens. Pronto Networks will be collaborating with Intel and a diverse group of high-tech companies to help communities design, develop and deploy comprehensive solutions and services.

Pronto Networks’ Operations Support System (OSS) platform is a key infrastructure component for metro-scale, broadband wireless networks. Some of the critical back-office and service control functions performed by Pronto’s OSS include user registration, secure authentication, subscriber management, flexible billing, customer portal customization, and remote network management. Pronto’s OSS is compatible with both mesh networking and WiMAX technologies to enable citywide deployments. In addition, Pronto’s open, flexible platform supports a multitude of applications intended to enhance public safety and services, improve employee productivity, and reduce the cost of government operations.

“Intel is pleased to work with Pronto Networks on the Digital Communities initiative in Corpus Christi and Philadelphia,” said Paul Butcher, state and local government marketing manager, Intel. “The high tech companies involved in the Digital Communities initiative, including Pronto Networks, play a critical role in designing and deploying solutions and services that are built on affordable citywide wireless networks and play a role in transforming the way a community works, lives and plays.”

Pronto currently has 16 citywide wireless deployments covering over 300 square miles, including model community deployments in Corpus Christi, TX and Philadelphia, PA. The Corpus Christi deployment, soon to span 147 square miles, is a “mixed-use” network, allowing both private and public users to securely share the same infrastructure and have access to only those applications for which they are authorized. The network, consisting of Tropos Networks’ mesh routers and Pronto’s OSS platform, supports several mobile solutions developed for municipal field workers, including vehicle location, video surveillance and building inspection.

In Philadelphia, Pronto has two deployments within the Wireless Philadelphia initiative ( Love Park and Olney. The Love Park deployment, called “The Cloud at Wireless Philadelphia”, is available at Love Park and along the Ben Franklin Parkway to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The network infrastructure, provided by Pronto, Tropos and content creator and distributor Pervasive Services, supports both community content applications and merchant publishing solutions. During the Live 8 charity concert over the Fourth of July weekend more than 500 users accessed the network. The Olney deployment, spanning a one-square mile area of the economically disadvantaged Olney neighborhood, is provided by Pronto, AT&T, Lucent Technologies and BelAir Networks. The network is being provided free of charge for the next year in an effort to bring equal and affordable Internet access to all citizens.

“We’re excited to be working with hundreds of local governments and other leading vendors in bringing wireless technology and innovative applications to their cities,” said Jasbir Singh, president and CEO of Pronto Networks. “The Digital Communities program will help accelerate the adoption of wireless technology across the globe by fostering cooperation among governments, vendors and operators. We’re proud to be one of the initial members of this important initiative.”

Pronto’s OSS is an open, standards-based converged services platform that enables operators and systems integrators to rapidly and cost-effectively deploy wireless broadband networks to deliver value-added services to city employees, businesses and residents. Pronto's OSS can support any kind of municipal broadband network model - public, private, mixed-use, and carrier-neutral. This ability to support both mixed use public and private applications on one network with quality of service (QoS) ensures superior user experience, reduces investment costs and lowers ongoing management and maintenance costs. The ability to sublet excess capacity in a carrier-neutral, wholesale model helps cities earn a faster return on investment and provide more service options to their citizens. Pronto’s OSS platform also supports both centralized and de-centralized network architectures and leverages clustering technology to scale to millions of users and wireless nodes.

About Pronto Networks
Pronto Networks, based in Pleasanton, Calif., provides carrier-class Operations Support Systems (OSS) that enable network operators to deploy and manage large public hot spot and hot zone networks. The company’s software handles provisioning, configuration, authentication, access control, security, pre-paid and post-paid billing, and roaming settlement for large public WLAN networks, in addition to remotely managing and updating multi-vendor hardware and Wi-Fi switches. Pronto Networks is funded by BV Capital, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and the Intel Communications Fund. Pronto Networks was recently named to the AlwaysOn List of Top 100 Private Companies for the third consecutive year, and in 2003 received Wired Magazine’s Top 25 Wi-Fi Companies to Watch and Computerworld’s Innovative Technology Awards.

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