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…Tatara’s Subscriber Gateway enables major UK mobile operator to offer subscribers access to data over Wi-Fi, without needing to build any hotspots of its own…

11 October 2004 – Tatara Systems, a developer of technology platforms for service providers looking to increase revenue and extend their brands to mobile computing devices such as laptops and personal digital assistants (PDAs), today announced that its technology has been chosen by Vodafone UK to help deliver its Wireless LAN Mobile Connect Card Software Upgrade.

Deploying the Tatara Subscriber Gateway has enabled Vodafone UK to enhance its 3G and GPRS laptop data services. By allowing Vodafone customers to access Vodafone’s Wi-Fi services initially via BT OpenZone hotspots, the Tatara Subscriber Gateway has enabled Vodafone to become a major Wi-Fi services provider without having to build a single hotspot of its own.

The Tatara Subscriber Gateway brings significant cost benefits to Vodafone, thanks to its seamless integration with Vodafone’s existing customer database management system and mobile payment platform. The Tatara product collects data on customer connection durations, and passes that information to the database and billing systems. Vodafone UK can therefore invoice customers for both wireless LAN (Wi-Fi) and wide area wireless services on the same bill, thereby enhancing Vodafone’s position as the UK’s market leader on mobile data services.

Vodafone customers, meanwhile, benefit from the ability to connect [through non-Vodafone] hotspots without having to open a separate account. The Tatara Subscriber Gateway provides a high level of security to subscribers, by means of a two-stage secure authentication process which ensures that user credentials are never exposed to the hotspot operator. Additionally, the Tatara Subscriber Gateway allows users who purchase a fixed session duration to disconnect and reconnect during the paid-for session without having to purchase another session.

“Thanks to its Vodafone live! Service and Vodafone Mobile Connect Cards, Vodafone is recognised throughout the industry as one of the world’s leading providers of wireless data services,” said Steve Nicolle, President and CEO of Tatara Systems. “Adding Wi-Fi to its portfolio is a natural extension of Vodafone’s market leadership.”

Bena Roberts, analyst for industry analyst group Current Analysis said, "The market for mobile data provision is really heating up, with service providers positioning themselves to capitalise on the revenue opportunities involved. Vodafone is well placed to benefit, by bundling WLAN services with 3G mobile services to provide the sort of connectivity that users expect from a market leader. Vodafone’s roaming deal with BT OpenZone, facilitated by Tatara’s Subscriber Gateway technology, has given Vodafone a real head start."

The Tatara Subscriber Gateway is part of Tatara’s Mobile Services Control Platform, which enables branded mobile providers such as Vodafone, as well as fixed and cable operators, to extend a combination of connectivity and value-added services to their end users across both Local Area Networks (LANs), including Wi-Fi, and Wide Area Networks (WANs), such as GPRS and 3G. It allows service providers to maintain visibility and delivery of customer service levels to Wi-Fi subscribers and to extend advanced services to those subscribers, no matter whose network they are using, thus enabling the operator to easily strike up mobile data roaming relationships with a broad range of hotspot network operators and aggregators.

In addition, the Tatara Subscriber Gateway maintains real-time presence, location and reachability information for all subscribers – even those that are roaming. The gateway enables a broad suite of value-added services and capabilities to be extended into a roaming environment – enhancing the mobile data service for subscribers.


About Tatara Systems

Tatara Systems develops technology platforms that enable telecommunications service providers to increase revenue and to extend the relevance of their brands by delivering both seamless connectivity and value-added services to users of mobile computing devices such as laptops and PDAs.

Tatara’s Mobile Services Control Platform serves the needs of branded carriers such as wireless, wireline, cable and managed service providers which maintain a direct service and billing relationship with an individual end user or enterprise. Using Tatara’s solution, remote access, location- and presence-based services are cost-effectively extended to mobile computing device users over the platform’s real-time, secure communications link direct from the home provider to the end user – providing the user access to a rich and consistent set of capabilities regardless of who owns the access network currently being used and regardless of whether that network is a LAN (e.g. Wi-Fi, WiMAX, Ethernet) or WAN (e.g. GPRS, EDGE, UMTS) technology. Tatara’s patent-pending solution supports the delivery of carrier-class services to mobile computing devices over seamless ‘virtual access networks’ without compromising the home provider’s ability to support and manage the service and without a
dversely impacting service economics by requiring any special hardware or software to be deployed in the access network.

Tatara Systems is a privately held company based outside Boston, Massachusetts with European headquarters in London. The company is backed by Highland Capital Partners and North Bridge Venture Partners. More details are available at www.tatarasystems.com

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