Sputnik Delivers Software Upgrade, Hosted Offering

Sputnik Delivers Software Upgrade, Hosted Offering.
Sputnik announced today an upgraded version of its software and a new
hosted offering: Sputnik's software allows service providers to
centrally manage and track usage on multiple remote Wi-Fi networks.
Version 3.0 can now accommodate for very large networks. “With this,
you can have one server that manages lots of independent wireless
networks and each can have thousands of access points and each is
segregated,” said David LaDuke, CEO of Sputnik. A service provider
could centrally manage, for example, a chain of hotels, a few
universities, and several hospitals. The service provider could then
allow a local administrator at each location to access network
management tools but each administrator would be restricted to managing
their own location. Version 3.0 was also designed to offer users plenty
of flexibility. It now includes support for RADIUS authentication, in
addition to prepaid authentication and device based authentication.
Users can run all three simultaneously, setting preferences for which
type of authentication is presented to users first. The software also
enables flexible network policy management so administrators can set
rules that may forbid peer-to-peer connections or block ports or IP
addresses. The capability means that providers can set up a walled
garden that users can access before they authenticate. Sputnik also
introduced today SputnikNet, which makes Sputnik's software available
to service providers or businesses on a hosted basis. Customers buy
access points from Sputnik and pay a flat $19.95 fee per access point
per month for the service. Customers still have the flexibility of
employing the authentication and payment method they prefer and can
self-brand the offering. Other providers have hosted offerings but they
don't always enable self-branding. Surf and Sip, for example, has a
hosted offering but the business essentially becomes a Surf and Sip
location. Airpath, however, offers a hosted service that allows for
self-branding. Sputnik currently has over 300 customers around the
globe and its products support hotspots in locations such as Holiday
Inns, Comfort Inns, McDonald's, Subway restaurants, Ramada Inns,
prominent hospitals, and universities. Existing customers can upgrade
to the new software for free. New customers can buy the software and
two access points for $599. LaDuke said that he's noticing a change in
the way that service providers leverage the capabilities of software
platforms like Sputnik's. Instead of building hotspots merely to offer
Internet access to customers, network providers are realizing that they
can use the wireless network to build… [Wi-Fi Networking News]

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