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Global Roaming Breakthrough Claimed

Researchers claimed Wednesday that they have developed software that will enable true global roaming across all types of wireless environments ranging from third-generation (3G) systems and 802.ll local area networks (WLANs).

Researchers at Lucent Technologies' Bell Labs said their Common Operations (COPS) software architecture will work on disparate wireless networks including CDMA2000, UMTS and other commonly used and forthcoming systems. Subscribers to one sort of network will be able to access voice and data services even when they have roamed into an area served by another type of network, the company claimed in a statement.

The company said the system uses a so-called protocol gateway that translates data into a single, common language. That data will include so-called home location (HLR) registers, which are databases providing user authentication, authorization and location data, the company said. That information is necessary to enable a mobile user to initiate a call, use services or obtain data.

"This breakthrough from Bell Labs will, in the near future, help mobile operators to meet the demand for high-bandwidth services from increasingly mobile subscribers," said Paul Mankiewich, chief technology officer of Lucent's Mobility Solutions Group.

Another benefit of COPS, according to the company, is that operators can more easily change the wireless technology they use or to add new ones without interrupting service or adding more HLRs.

The company provided no information about commercial availability of the technology.

David Haskin is managing editor of sister site, allNetDevices.