Wi-Fi equipment provider Xirrus’ portfolio of Wireless Arrays has received Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Passpoint status from the Wi-Fi Alliance. Passpoint certification is based on the Hotspot 2.0 specification defined by the Wi-Fi Alliance to address critical business needs for mobile data services, streamlined network access, and subscriber loyalty.
Passpoint-compliant mobile devices can automatically discover and connect to Passpoint-certified Wi-Fi networks without the manual intervention typically required of users to select networks or enter passwords, for example. A recent survey by Informa Telecoms found that 19% of service provider respondents plan to deploy Passpoint-enabled hotspots by the end of 2013.
As mobile users continue to increase their use of data-intensive applications, Passpoint-certified Wi-Fi networks ease offload of service provider data traffic from cellular to Wi-Fi networks. Passpoint-certified hotspots also facilitate the use of enterprise-grade WPA2 security, enabling service providers to securely transport user data across public wireless hotspots.
‘We’re pleased to announce Passpoint certification across our entire line of Wireless Arrays,’ said Steven Wastie, chief marketing officer of Xirrus (pictured). ‘This initiative, along with the work being led by the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA), is critical to the wide-scale adoption of Wi-Fi and its integration into the network access layer, significantly improving the end user experience and enabling network owners to support sustainable business models.’ Xirrus is a member of the WBA alongside leading global operators and device vendors.
Passpoint-certified equipment can authenticate users with multiple types of credentials, including Subscriber Identity Module (SIM)–based authentication, username/password combinations, and certificate credentials. Furthermore, the authentication process does not require a browser, making it ideal for mobile devices that lack browsers.
The Wi-Fi Alliance certification program is designed to provide a single industry-wide solution for seamless access to Wi-Fi mobile broadband, and to create a common foundation allowing carriers and service providers to rapidly expand Wi-Fi roaming agreements. With multi-provider Wi-Fi roaming, subscribers benefit from connectivity in more hotspots than those provided by their own service.