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Innovative new technology enables European MVNOs to embrace low-cost WiFi

Posted by Trustive on November 28, 2013

“Always best connected” paradigm is revolutionary technology that provides intelligent network management and truly seamless cellular and WiFi connectivity to end-users on the go.

 

WiFi has always been an anomaly within the networking industry; WiFi provides a key service, utilizing a worldwide standard, with no expensive license. As a result, the WiFi hotspot industry has grown with both large-scale operators and small providers sharing the same market space but without any formal coordination; which has led to a shortfall in roaming and interoperability functionalities. 

In recent years, the importance of WiFi has been reinforced by the huge uptake of smartphones and other mobile devices, which have profoundly changed the scenario of applications and services which users now expect to fully experience on the go. With mobile data traffic forecast to grow exponentially, Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) now need to juggle these heightened customer expectations with network performance; cellular (3G) data roaming services are frequently congested, renowned for being of poorer quality and more expensive than WiFi services. However, seamless integration between WiFi and cellular networks is not yet widely available. 

Guglielmo has developed a sophisticated algorithm, named WISE, which can resolve the issue of seamless connectivity to both WiFi and cellular networks. The WISE technology can be embedded into any MNO’s or MVNO’s Android application. The algorithm then collects data from the network in order to form a full picture of the “context” in which the mobile device is operating (e.g. its position, service availability and device’s current usage). By constantly re-evaluating the context in which a mobile device is operating, this “Always best connected” algorithm is able to determine which is the most suitable network that is currently available, the best network for the future and also calculates the optimum moment to handover from one network to another. 

On top of this context analysis, the algorithm also manages the WiFi authentication process, using data stored on the end-user’s SIM card, thereby avoiding any other manual log in procedures and rendering the switch from WiFi to cellular networks completely seamless for the end-user. 

“The true advantage of the “Always best connected” algorithm is its innate simplicity in terms of integration, effectiveness and ease of usage for the end-user. Quick and easy to install with little or no cost in terms of software and infrastructure, MNOs and MVNOs can roll out this innovative solution in a few short weeks” – says Giovanni Guerri, Guglielmo CEO.

Now MVNOs can benefit twice fold, by not only giving their end-users the advantages of WiFi in parallel to their existing cellular services but also in terms of lower roaming costs.  

Several MVNOs adopted this technology in 2013, with very encouraging results both in terms of network performance (data offloading) and customer satisfaction. A recent cooperation with Trustive, Europe’s No1 WiFi access provider, has demonstrated its power with a deployment over more than 100,000 access points across Europe in just a few weeks, combining 3G and WiFi in a truly seamless and secured way. 

“As an aggregator working with more than 80 operators, Trustive is very sensitive about the need to provide seamless, quick and quality mobile internet access to travelers worldwide, whilst simultaneously keeping technical deployment and maintenance costs to a minimum” says Christian VanGhelder, Managing Director at Trustive. “By integrating the “Always best connected” solution into part of our European network we have been able to offer, in just a few weeks, a truly transparent and automatic access to both cellular and WiFi networks for travellers with Android smartphones, without having to touch any of the 100,000 access points included in this project. With this innovation, Trustive can now roll out this capability across its 700,000 premium sites worldwide quickly and without any modification to the millions of individual access points spread across these sites.”

Guglielmo is one of the leading wireless Internet service providers in Italy and has a network consisting of over 12,000 access points and over 2 million users registered by means of its very own LUMEN platform. Guglielmo owes its name to the founders’ wish to pay a well-deserved tribute to the physicist from Bologna, Guglielmo Marconi, inventor of radio waves and the father of telecommunications. As well as its standard activities of service provider, Guglielmo is also very active in R&D. www.guglielmo.biz

Trustive is No 1 in Europe and a leading international WiFi premium hotspot access provider, giving travellers extensive WiFi coverage by combining the hotspot locations of more than 80+ leading WiFi operators into one unified, global network of over 700,000 premium WiFi hotspots in 130+ countries. www.trustive.com
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GOOD NEWS FOR COMMUTERS: MOBILE DATA INNOVATION WITH A CLOUD BASED NETWORK SELECTION AND SIM AUTHENTICATION

Posted by Trustive on May 28, 2013

Leading operators join forces to bring an innovative solution for Android smartphone users for seamless, secured connectivity as they travel in Europe, providing major savings & full budget control.

Guglielmo and Trustive, two of Europe’s leading operators, have signed an important agreement, which aims to strengthen the historical collaboration between these companies and enable them to offer truly transparent and automatic access to both cellular and WiFi networks for all users travelling in Europe using a “SIM unlocked”* or dual SIM Android smartphone for voice, SMS, mobile data and WiFi access.

The object of the agreement envisages the distribution of a combined SIM card and a free application for Android smartphones, which provides seamless authentication using purely the SIM card data, thereby guaranteeing complete user identification, total privacy and maximum speed of access, without the need to enter a password or perform any kind of manual sign up procedure.

The partners’ goals are aligned to offer viable alternatives to expensive 3G roaming packages through easy to use solutions aimed at business and leisure travellers for comprehensive data communications using WiFi and cost-effective voice communications whilst they are on the move.

Initial testing has started and proved very successfully in France and Italy. Every year France and Italy welcome over 130 million visitors, travelling on business or leisure, and mobile Internet access using the mobile phone network is proving increasingly more limited due to the high international roaming fees applied. In this context, WiFi is the ideal tool for overcoming these limitations, as long as access availability is extremely widespread and above all if network access is practical and efficient.

What this initiative sets out to do is offer an effective answer to what has now become an extremely widespread need.

Guglielmo and Trustive have over 7,000 premium sites (over 30,000 access points) distributed throughout France and Italy which users will be able to connect to by simply using their SIM card as an automatic authentication tool, emulating, in each and every way, access to the mobile phone network.

In recent years, the huge explosion in the smartphone market and the forecasted exponential growth in mobile traffic have profoundly changed the scenario of applications and services which can be fully experienced whilst on the move, making WiFi a key part of the mobile infrastructure.

In an attempt to manage the issues involved in a fully seamless integration between WiFi and cellular networks, main standardization boards are currently working to define guidelines and protocols for WiFi network implementation. This process has proven to be somewhat confusing because the various organizations and standardisation boards are all focusing on similar problems while pursuing different solutions. Furthermore, the lack of compliance for these standards on network elements (mobile terminals, access points, controllers, etc.) makes the transition to new standards extremely difficult.

The free application for Android smartphones has an effective Cloud Based Network Selection logic and includes a patented SIM-based user authentication, thus overcoming what has always been the real limit in accessing heterogeneous wireless networks. In particular this limitation is even more pronounced in Europe where the heterogeneity of networks is even more marked. The application also includes a “hotspot finder”, integrated with gmaps, so that the user can find the nearest WiFi network available and also makes it possible to select “friendly” WiFi networks for automatic connection (e.g. home and company networks), thus overcoming the limits imposed by the operating system installed on the user’s handheld device.

“This new authentication process probably represents the most innovative development we have dealt with over the last few years, because it significantly improves user experience and connection reliability,” says Giovanni Guerri, CEO of Guglielmo. “The most significant feature is the extraordinary capacity to perform authentication on a WiFi network using the active connection, thus opening a completely revolutionary scenario in terms of performance.”

Christian Vanghelder, MD at Trustive, stated “as commuters ourselves, we look at innovation to support the need to communicate and stay in touch with our business, our family and friends. The Android smartphone and OTT services have revolutionised the way we communicate. But we still face confusing data plans, high costs/restrictions and complex authentication models in order to access the internet abroad. Along with SIM Card authentication for both 3G and WiFi, we can now provide truly seamless access and improve security and all this at a competitive price by combining offers from our long term partners. We are happy to launch this initiative, combining our experience and expertise to facilitate and secure access for commuters.”

Guglielmo and Trustive are planning to launch a commercial offer in France and Italy this summer and, according to customer feedback, may extend this program across the rest of Europe thereafter.

In the current market there is still a lot of room for innovation and Guglielmo and Trustive expect this initiative to point the way forward for mobile operators, encouraging the speedy deployment of new, simplified offers, using SIM cards as the key for simplification and security. At the moment 340 million roaming trips are looking for a solution!

Guglielmo is one of the leading wireless Internet service providers in Italy and has a network consisting of over 12,000 access points and over 2 million users registered by means of its very own LUMEN platform. Guglielmo owes its name to the founders’ wish to pay a well-deserved tribute to the physicist from Bologna, Guglielmo Marconi, inventor of radio waves and the father of telecommunications. As well as its standard activities of service provider, Guglielmo is also very active in R&D.

Trustive is No 1 in Europe and a leading international WiFi premium hotspot access provider, giving travellers extensive WiFi coverage by combining the hotspot locations of more than 80+ leading WiFi operators into one unified, global network of over 500,000 premium WiFi hotspots in 130+ countries. Trustive is a member of the Wireless Broadband Alliance.

* “SIM Unlocked” smartphone is a smartphone accepting any SIM and not linked to a specific operator

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WiFi, the international mobile internet access solution for the perceived future

Posted by Trustive on February 23, 2011

In our 2010 report, Trustive observes new trends in the way travellers access the internet. Travellers use multiple devices – these days it is not unusual to travel with 3 or more devices – and laptops are gradually being replaced by tablets and smartphones.

This new trend is therefore leading a shift in the way that data is accessed. Regular usage of multiple devices and the real risk of loosing, breaking and/or having devices stolen means that data has to be accessible directly via the net. Forget having to download files onto multiple platforms and the headache associated with the constant need to manage and synchronize local data across multiple devices, hardisks and/or USB keys. In the 21st century, data will be stored in virtual “clouds”, accessible via any device with mobile internet access.

The combination of the availability of high-speed broadband, low-cost structures and a new generation of WiFi technology all enable users to enjoy high-speed WiFi access at home and in the office. It is therefore only natural that users prefer to use the same type of high-speed WiFi internet access services when they travel abroad as well.

Due to the above-mentioned new trends in mobile internet access, it is imperative that security be reviewed, the risks inherent to the public domain being simply too great to ignore. Trustive strongly recommends designing data access security protocols independently to the devices being used. Experts and suppliers should, in Trustive’s opinion, concentrate on providing secured access to data for internal or external use. Trustive understands the complexity of this design but, for the perceived future at least, we cannot escape current user behaviour patterns and trends and, in order to safeguard data, it is thus only sensible to address this subject sooner rather than later.

As carriers move to “à la carte plans”, business nomads working for small companies will pay increasing attention to which types of network they connect to and how much such mobile internet connections cost. Increases in workforce mobility will result in an increase in WiFi usage in the coming months and years. Today’s 3G and tomorrow’s 4G will be premium services, reserved for the top echelon of travellers. However, the vast majority of travellers will rely on WiFi access whenever they are abroad.

At Trustive, we have always worked to provide a secure infrastructure for travellers to rely on, primarily by establishing secure interconnections with our 100+ operator partners and by using the latest technology to protect our systems and sites. Trustive offers travellers a low-cost mobile internet access service that includes free WiFi software to detect and connect to Trustive WiFi hotspots in just one click. That, plus of course Trustive’s free secure web browser (also accessible via Trustive’s WiFi software) both enable travellers to connect easily and with peace of mind to the world’s largest WiFi hotspot network of 180,000 WiFi hotspots in 130 countries.

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The beginning of the end for unlimited data plans!

Posted by Trustive on July 12, 2010

As expected, unlimited data plans are starting to be withdrawn from the market, with both AT&T and 02 announcing the end of such plans and the introduction of strict caps on data usage. Other mobile carriers like Verizon have also announced that tiered pricing is on the cards for their customers.

Apple have been quoted as stating that 98% of smartphone users consume less than 2GB of data per month, but with the arrival of the iPad, this is certain to change…. The iPad has a huge range of multimedia books, graphically complex games and impressive video streaming capabilities, not to mention the App Store with its range of 200,000 applications. The iPad is marketed specifically as a versatile and mobile online device and capping data usage will therefore hit the innate usability and portability of this device hard.

No-one in the industry wants customers to exceed their data usage limits and incur heavy charges. App developers are therefore starting to review their applications to make them lighter and mobile carriers are pushing WiFi to their customers.  Trustive has been working with mobile carriers like Vodafone SFR, Telefonica and Swisscom for many years in order to offload their customers’ data usage onto Trustive’s premium WiFi hotspot network; a network which includes 140,000 premium WiFi hotspots in 110 countries worldwide.

Click here to visit Trustive’s coverage directory or click here to watch the BBC Click video report “Mobile networks scrap unlimited data plans for smartphones”

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Shock mobile internet bill of 31,500GBP for 1 British holidaymaker!

Posted by Trustive on April 21, 2010

31,500GBP in international mobile internet (data) roaming charges – that’s what one British holidaymaker faced paying upon his return home from his relaxing holiday in Portugal!

Mr Dobsyn had used his Vodafone data card to download one episode of Prison Break and a couple of songs and thought that the resulting bill was a joke! It seems that despite being an IT worker, Mr Dobsyn – like many 3G customers – was unaware of the excessive charges levied by mobile operators for international data roaming. This case took place in early 2009 and so thankfully the EU legislation that came into force in July last year is protecting mobile internet users by forcing mobile operators to cap data roaming usage at 50 Euros. 50 Euros is a limit that can be quickly reached, especially when you use 3G services, and so Trustive highly recommends using WiFi wherever possible.

WiFi is far cheaper, faster and easier than 3G and with Trustive’s wide range of prepaid and subscription WiFi access accounts, there are no hidden charges, and more importantly for Mr Dobsyn, no download quotas!

Visit www.trustive.com for more information about Trustive’s low-cost WiFi service.

If you’d like to read the original article please go to: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1031630/Holidaymaker-charged-31-500-downloading-episode-favourite-TV-Portugal.html

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WiFi remains the most cost effective option for savvy consumers!

Posted by Trustive on June 16, 2009

Following the recent announcement regarding the change in EU legislation relating to mobile operators’ roaming charges, the cost of WiFi vs. 3G is a subject which has once again been brought to the fore. Will consumers really sit up and take notice though? In difficult economic times such as these, they would if they knew what savings could be made!

With the exception of some providers’ special HSDPA networks, mobile 3G broadband is, generally, not as fast as a fixed line or WiFi connection. Good 3G coverage is an important factor too, as very few areas enable the fastest data standard. Many mobile 3G network providers limit the amount of data you are allowed to download each month and, if you exceed this limit, you may be liable for extra charges. These charges can cost as much as £1 (approx 1.18 Euros) per additional megabyte, resulting in a shocking £1024 (1212 Euros) per gigabyte. Overseas, costs can be as much as £5 (5.92 Euros) per megabyte!

The recent decision by the European Commission to impose a cap on roaming charges for data and SMS usage will force mobile operators to cut their fees (and cut the service to customers if they exceed specified usage limits!) but despite this, 3G roaming costs will remain significantly higher than WiFi.

Not only is WiFi vastly cheaper, but connection speeds are close to those of fixed line broadband. Whilst the negative aspect of WiFi hotspots may previously have been the sporadic availability of access points, the increased demand and popularity has now resulted in almost seamless coverage in the majority of key cities and airport areas throughout Europe. Trustive gives travelers extensive WiFi coverage by combining the hotspot locations of more than 70 leading WiFi operators into one unified, global network of WiFi hotspots and allowing Trustive customers access to these locations through a single click (single username and password plus a WiFi client that automates the log in process).

The cost for Trustive’s high-speed WiFi access is from as little as 0.02 Euros (approx 0.02 GBP) per minute (subscription accounts) or 0.08 Euros (0.07 GBP) per minute (pre-paid accounts) with no hidden costs or data download quotas!

Whilst surfing the internet and accessing e-mail have traditionally been the main activities of WiFi users, the growth of the ‘Net Generation’ has resulted in wireless connections being used for far more varied applications such as voice, file sharing and entertainment. Christian VanGhelder, Managing Director of Trustive, comments ”Trustive is very much aligned to this Net Generation and offers users ‘real internet broadband’ so that they can watch videos, download music, share photographs, play online games and keep in touch with friends and family through a host of social networking sites. Activities such as these would not even be considerations for users of a 3G connection due to the enormous (and unpredictable) cost implications but Trustive customers can enjoy doing all this, safe in the knowledge that their low-cost WiFi access account has no download quotas or hidden costs. There will be no nasty surprise waiting for them on the doormat when they get home!”

And in difficult economic times such as these, it is the predictability and affordability of good quality, low cost WiFi services, such as the one offered by Trustive, which will appeal to customers.

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The iPhone still dominates!

Posted by Trustive on May 29, 2009

According to Admob’s April 2009 report, the iPhone and iPod Touch’s dominance of mobile web traffic continues almost unchecked by rivals, despite the fact that their market share is quite small (8%). Last month the iPhone generated 43% of mobile web requests and 65% of HTML usage!!

This is why WiFi clients such as Trustive’s Easy WiFi are so important, providing seamless, one-click access to a global network of WiFi hotspots. WiFi is cheaper, faster and easier than 3G and so any iPhone/iPod Touch user who hasn’t already sorted out a low-cost, international WiFi access account should visit www.trustive.com without delay!

Check out Admob’s April 2009 report >>

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EU cuts roaming charges …

Posted by Trustive on May 27, 2009

The recent decision by the European Commission to impose a cap on roaming charges for data and SMS will force mobile operators to cut their roaming charges. However, consumers should not be lulled into a false sense of security by this decision and, for the savvy consumer, WiFi will remain the most reliable and cost effective solution for international data roaming.

URL: http://www.telecoms.com/10693/europe-cuts-costs-of-sms-data-roaming-charges

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