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VZW unveils biz-focused static IP service: Offering targeted at secure communications

Heeding demands from its enterprise customers, Verizon Wireless recently began offering a solution that provides companies greater control and increased security for wireless devices on the network.
The carrier added Static Internet Protocol to its private network for businesses. The private network allows customers to communicate more securely and consistently with their wireless devices through the use of private IP addressing and dedicated connectivity.
With Static IP in the fold, businesses now have more control over their employees with wireless devices. The technology allows information technology staff to assign a unique IP address to identify each device accessing the network. Companies can push rules and policies to devices and limit data sources to which the device can connect.
Kitty Weldon, an industry analyst at Current Analysis, said the move is in response to customer demand and follows similar technology that Sprint Nextel Corp. and AT&T Mobility have been offering to its customers for the past few years. In 2005, Sprint Nextel launched its solution for static and IP addressing.
Verizon Wireless officials are touting the launch of its technology to work on the carrier’s PC cards, wireless routers, embedded laptops and mobile devices, including smartphones.

PC based
By using the technology, enterprise customers can request data from s specific device when needed. Customers can also increase security by adding a fixed block of wireless IP addresses to their corporate firewall.
Verizon Wireless says Static IP is a perfect solution for its business customers who need to access and send sensitive information from a wireless device.
Although smartphones are listed for compatibility, Weldon said Verizon Wireless’ service only supports applications that are hosted by the enterprise customer on the private network service.
BlackBerry handsets will not work with the system since the Research in Motion Ltd.’s network operations center is connected to the company BlackBerry Enterprise Server, she said. An ISP-hosted Windows Mobile/Microsoft Exchange e-mail solution that uses the public Internet for access also would not work with the offering.
The cost to set up mobile devices with the technology is a one-time fee of $500. Along with the one-time fee, a $60 monthly data plan is also needed for each device and companies need an AAA server to implement the technology, Weldon said. Such a server could cost a company between $30,000 and $40,000.

Tough market
Weldon said Verizon Wireless provided its customers with the option after fielding inquiries and the carrier is hopeful it will spur additional business. However, Weldon predicts the impact on garnering new business will be low as other carriers offer the technology.
“While the new offer will not shake up the competitive landscape, it will provide more granular control for those Verizon Wireless customers looking for a good security solution for large deployments with which to connect mobile devices,” according to Weldon’s analysis.
The offering does show that Verizon Wireless is responsive to its customers. Weldon said the company should consider providing a “secure network access” option to its private network customers. Customers would have a controlled window to public Internet services, which the carrier secures using a network-based firewall, with this type of application, she said.


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