9/19/2005 - 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 it is donating its Managed Services for converged networks to enable broadband wireless connectivity in the New Orleans downtown and airport areas, as well as Biloxi and Baton Rouge, in support of Hurricane Katrina disaster relief efforts. Pronto is working with partners Intel, MCI's SkyTel and Tropos Networks to enable free Wi-Fi service to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) workers, local government employees and citizens at these locations.
The broadband wireless network will provide thousands of hurricane survivors the ability to communicate with relatives, contact social services and access other information critical to receiving emergency fund distributions and for relocation. It will also enable FEMA and city employees to exchange information critical to mobilizing resources and people in need of help.
"The widespread damage caused by Hurricane Katrina is simply devastating," said Jasbir Singh, president and CEO of Pronto Networks. "We are compelled to assist with the relief efforts where possible and are pleased to be working with our partners to provide temporary wireless communication for relief workers and thousands of displaced individuals."
SkyTel, a subsidiary of MCI, will provide the on-site installation, technical assistance and 24x7 network monitoring to ensure network availability, and Intel is contributing Tropos mesh routers for coverage in these areas. Pronto is providing the back-office operational support, including customer portal customization, quality of service controls, and remote network management, via its Managed Services operation based in San Jose, CA. Pronto's Managed Services runs on its leading OSS platform for converged services. The network in these hard-hit areas is expected to be fully operational later this week.
"Communication has been a major challenge in the disaster recovery efforts," said Bruce Deer, President of SkyTel. "By working with Pronto and other partners, we're able to quickly setup the necessary infrastructure to enable wireless communication among relief workers and survivors in these critical areas. We're proud to offer our technical expertise and resources to assist the thousands impacted by this tragedy."
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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