Ruckus Wireless announced at MWC 2014 that it has been working with Orange Poland to enable Hotspot 2.0 Wi-Fi services in Warsaw. Residents and visitors can now enjoy high-speed wireless Internet by accessing the new Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi network deployed throughout the Warsaw Royal Gardens, the largest park in Poland, covering 760,000 square meters.
The service is offered by Orange Poland but is also available to customers of other operators. The new Smart Wi-Fi network is based on emerging Hotspot 2.0 technology and is believed to be the first such system operational in Europe.
Hotspot 2.0 is a new technology specification developed by members of the Wi-Fi Alliance (WFA) that dramatically simplifies and automates how users connect to and roam between Wi-Fi networks.
Orange has built its new Hotspot 2.0-capable Wi-Fi network using Ruckus ZoneFlex Smart-Wi-Fi access points (APs) and ZoneDirector controllers that are Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Passpoint equipment (i.e., equipment certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance).
Historically, to connect to a hotspot, users have had to perform the arduous task of manually selecting from a number of Wi-Fi networks that may or may not be able to provide them service and perform the tedious process of logging in with their user credentials.
Using Hotspot 2.0 and Passpoint-certified devices, this process can be completely automated. Mobile devices automatically select a Wi-Fi hotspot based on information from advertised Wi-Fi access points that tell the device which networks are available for service and which hotspots support roaming to the user’s home service providers.
With Hotspot 2.0 enabled, the user’s mobile device can automatically connect to the appropriate hotspot while securing the link with advanced Wi-Fi security.
“With this new technology, the procedure of connecting a mobile device with our Wi-Fi network is remarkably simple, removing the need for any user interaction with the device,” said Krzysztof Kozlowski, director of Orange Labs Poland.
“As the first publicly available and fully operational Hotspot 2.0 network in Poland and, we believe, in Europe, Orange Poland and Ruckus are taking the lead with Hotspot 2.0 technology by delivering to the market Wi-Fi services that are as simple and easy to use as cellular phone networks,” Kozlowski concluded.
Aleksander Jakubczak, who is responsible for the development of wireless access at Orange Labs Poland added: “Hotspot 2.0 not only helps to reduce traffic pressure by offloading data from the mobile network, it also gives our customers faster, more reliable and secure Internet access through a smarter Wi-Fi infrastructure that simply delivers a better user experience.”
Orange customers that have Hotspot 2.0-capable devices such as iPhones running Apple iOS 7 or select Samsung Galaxy handsets will only have to go through a one-time setup to automatically connect to the network in all subsequent visits to the park.
The service can also be used by customers of other carriers and new visitors. Users simply log on to the network using their own telephone number and a one-time password that they will receive via SMS.