Verizon Business Introduces Service to Manage Wireless Local Area Networks

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. - Verizon Business today unveiled a new managed service to enable large corporate and government customers to use wireless technology to quickly and securely extend the reach of local area networks (LANs) within office buildings, factories and other locations. The offering, Verizon Business Managed Wireless LAN (WLAN) Service, enables employees to access networks, applications and data whether sitting at a desk, attending a meeting in a conference room or working in a lab or on an assembly line.

"Enabling employee mobility is key to enhancing productivity and collaboration - proven factors driving business success today," said Jim DeMerlis, vice president of managed services, Verizon Business. "Businesses of all kinds are seeking ways to maintain their competitive edge. Our new managed WLAN Service provides organizations the opportunity to deploy a wireless LAN without additional investment in internal management and maintenance resources."

The offering is well-suited to a wide range of industries, including government, education, manufacturing, health care and retail. It addresses all aspects of a WLAN deployment and provides a platform for the introduction of future applications, such as voice-over-WLAN. As a result, customers can better focus on core business activities that drive revenue and value.

According to a December 2005 Forrester Research Inc. report entitled "North American WLAN Adoption Grows," demand for WLAN services has experienced significant growth over the past few years, with adoption increasing from 9 percent in 2003 to 24 percent in 2005.

"The market for managed wireless LAN services is still in its infancy, with many enterprises considering how and when to deploy the technology," said Sean Hackett, research manager for business network services, IDC, a market intelligence and advisory services firm. "In the past, security and complexity have been key inhibitors to enterprise adoption. A solution like Verizon Business Managed Wireless LAN Service directly addresses these inhibitors by simplifying on-going management and deployment, while also providing tightly integrated security capabilities."

Verizon Business Managed WLAN Service Provides Strong Benefits

The Verizon Business Managed Wireless LAN Service offers strong benefits to customers through its inherent design. It is built to manage hardware developed by Aruba Networks, a privately held network infrastructure company that pioneered the concept of centrally managed WLANs designed for mobility and security. Based upon the IEEE 802.11 industry standard for WLAN performance and operability, the new service offers exceptional accessibility, management and scalability. Built-in security features, such as centralized network and policy management and intrusion detection and prevention, help ensure that only authorized employees and devices gain access to enterprise systems, applications and data.

Verizon Business uses a multi-step approach to the deployment and management of WLANs. It first gathers extensive data at the customer location, including anticipated usage and building layout. Then it creates and validates a WLAN network schematic to ensure appropriate placement of necessary hardware to meet customer coverage and performance requirements. In addition, Verizon Business performs a thorough review of security and authentication policies.

Verizon Business procures, installs and tests WLAN-related equipment. Once the service is up and running, Verizon Business proactively manages the performance and usage of the WLAN; monitors to help prevent unauthorized access or the attachment of rogue devices; and provides reporting capabilities to highlight key performance metrics.

Verizon Business also offers two optional professional assessment services. The Wireless Site Assessment Service provides customers with a comprehensive network-readiness study, including a detailed analysis of physical site characteristics and potential internal and external sources of interference. The Wireless Security Assessment Service entails an in-depth review of wireless authentication, access and usage policies. In addition, Verizon Business will conduct a post-implementation WLAN review to determine if further remediation is required.

The Verizon Business Managed Wireless LAN Service will be available in mid-July in the United States as a stand-alone service or in conjunction with Verizon Business' managed local- or wide-area networking services. The service was previously available only on a custom basis.

Today, Verizon Business manages nearly 3,400 customer networks in 142 countries, including overseeing more than 25,000 non-Verizon connections from more than 60 network providers around the world. As the former MCI, the company received the 2005 Frost & Sullivan Customer Service Leadership Award and the 2005 InfoWorld 100 Award. Verizon Business has a legacy of service and innovation in network management and leads the industry in service-level commitments.

Verizon Business, a unit of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ), is a leading provider of advanced communications and information technology (IT) solutions to large business and government customers worldwide. Combining unsurpassed global network reach with advanced technology and professional service capabilities, Verizon Business delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world. For more information, visit www.verizonbusiness.com.