Connecting Multiple Operators to a Regional Network

M. Juutilainen, J. Ikonen, and J. Porras (Finland)


Access network, multiple operators, Operator Interface, regional network, user routing, Wireless LAN


The development and popularity of wireless local area network (WLAN) technologies has led to enormous drive towards regional (wireless) networks. Usually regional networks are administrated by a single ISP (Internet Service Provider) which grants access to its customers. Network access is denied from customers of other operators. To join the network, a user has to make a contract with the operator. This paper proposes a new solution for connecting multiple operators to an already existing regional network, and keeping the network open for everyone (if wanted). The regional network can be, for example, a citywide wireless network. Operators, such as ISPs and organizations, manage the connections to the outer networks (for example Internet or organizations own intranet). The connection between the regional network and operators is done via Operator Interface, which is a cluster of servers located between these networks. All the inter-network traffic travels through Operator Interface, where the traffic can be monitored and controlled. Using Operator Interface, the regional network can be kept open and free for everyone. At the same time, operators are separated from the actual regional network infrastructure. The solution offers new opportunities for operators, service providers and users.

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