Swedish start-up develops WiFi-over-IP technology

According to Anyfi Networks, which is based out of Lund in Sweden, by combining the automatic WPA security of WiFi access with the tracking plus security features of an IP transmission network, users can use the same credentials at home, in the office or on public access WiFi networks.

The concept is called 'device aware networks' and Byorn Smedman, Anyfi's CEO, says that each device only sees the networks that are relevant to them, whilst the networks will only accept a login from a known technology device.

The firm says the trick is combining WiFi with IP, Internet Protocol, which allows it to break the tie between the logical network and physical infrastructure, in much the same way as Voice over IP separates your phone service from the physical line.

"You can think of it as WiFi over IP", said Smedman.

"Our cloud based matchmaking service keeps track of each device's favorite network and makes sure it is available from the closest access point. By forwarding the raw WiFi radio traffic over the internet we can ensure security, even if an attacker is in control of the access point", he added.

Smedman went on to say that this high level of security is one of the key features that makes the technology suitable for integration in modems of various types, and this is what makes it potentially disruptive, effectively turning WiFi into a full-blown 4G technology.

"Today only about 1-2% of residential broadband capacity is actually used. The rest just goes to waste. At the same time we are seeing mobile networks brought to their knees under the load of data-hungry devices like the Apple iPhone", he said.

"If you can guarantee that there is no negative impact whatsoever to the subscriber, why not use some of that spare capacity to offload mobile?" he said.

Anyfi Networks says that using this reasoning, a broadband connection with a WiFi router at the end can be thought of as a building block of sorts and Anyfi.net is the mortar.

By combining them, the company says an existing infrastructure can be transformed into a radio access network, license-exempt and WiFi compatible.

A fixed-line operator with a high density of broadband subscribers in an urban area could, for example, become a mobile operator over night by simply upgrading the modem software, something that can be done remotely.

But, adds Anyfi Networks, smaller operators could also join together to collectively provide secure mobile internet access, with worldwide roaming.

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