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Nokia adds to mobile access portfolio

Products promise more flexibility for corporate customers logging on to the company network.

Nokia has expanded its mobile-security portfolio, so that corporate road warriors can access the network whenever they want.

On Tuesday, the company announced several new products designed to let corporate users securely access their company networks from branch offices or mobile devices. Nokia's new products are based on Internet protocol security, or IPSec, tunneling and encryption.

The products create virtual private networks--secure connections that let people outside the company access the corporate network as if they were on the actual network. The VPN encrypts traffic and establishes a private connection, so that data can be sent over the Internet without the fear of being intercepted.

Nokia already offers VPN products that support Secure Sockets Layer, or SSL, technology, which allows users to securely access the corporate network via a standard Web browser. While SSL VPNs offer flexibility, they're limited in the types of information that can be accessed. Most SSL VPN products only access Web-based content, while IPsec VPNs let users access any corporate files.

Nokia's new mobile IPsec VPN products include four new IP VPN gateways, designed to accommodate differing sizes of branch offices; a mobile VPN client for a variety of Nokia phones and other mobile devices; and management software to ensure that everything works together.

Nokia's new IPSec client will be available for mobile devices that use the Symbian operating system, a standard OS used in many smart phones. Specifically, clients will be available for Nokia phones and communicators that use the Series 60 and Series 80 Nokia platforms, such as the Nokia 9500 Communicator and the 9300, 7650, 6670, 6630, 6600, 6620, 6260, 7610, 3660, 3650 and 9200 models.

The new gateway products were developed to provide companies with small to medium-size branch offices a more affordable VPN option. Because the products use standardized technology, any device, such as a laptop or PC running an IPsec client, can connect via the gateway to the corporate headquarters.

Nokia's new IP VPN products will be available in February, with prices starting at $395.