The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) announced significant advances in Next Generation Hotspot (NGH) deployments today (22 September 2014) including 12 live commercial NGH deployments from WBA member operators.
The WBA’s Next Generation Hotspot (NGH) programme aims to deliver a public Wi-Fi experience that is as easy and secure as that experienced on cellular networks. Hotspots will be easier for users to find and access, because devices can connect securely and automatically with no need to manually enter user names or passwords.
This will make interoperability across networks, technologies and devices much simpler. The new NGH Wi-Fi hotspots will also feature similar levels of security to the cellular network including end-to-end radio link encryption and SIM authentication.
The Wi-Fi Certified Passpoint solution was developed in the Wi-Fi Alliance (Wi-Fi equipment designers and vendors) through partnerships between mobile device manufacturers, network equipment vendors, and operators. Equipment that meets the NGH standards is certified as Passpoint enabled.
The operators demonstrating NGH technology at the Wi-Fi Global Congress in San Francisco are : from the US - Boingo, Towerstream, Time Warner Cable; from Asia - KT, NTT DOCOMO, SKT, Telkom Indonesia; from Europe –Orange; South America – Linktel; and the Middle East – Mobily. They are supported by infrastructure vendor members such as Aruba Networks, Cisco and Ruckus Wireless.
These developments, and the others in the pipeline, show that the adoption and deployment of NGH and Passpoint network equipment and devices is becoming increasingly mainstream with more operators looking set to follow suit in the coming years.
In addition, more than 20 carriers will participate in the live NGH experience during the Wi-Fi Global Congress taking place in San Francisco from the 6-10 October 2014. Participants currently confirmed include; AT&T, Boingo, BT, China Mobile, CableLabs, Fon, KT, Linktel Corp, Meteor Networks, Mobily, BIGLOBE, NTT DOCOMO, Orange, PCCW, Portugal Telecom, SKT, Shaw Communications, Telkom Indonesia, Towerstream, and TRUE Thailand.
Shrikant Shenwai, CEO, Wireless Broadband Alliance, said: “Carrier Wi-Fi is coming of age with an ever growing number of NGH deployments, both coast-to-coast in the US and around the world. In San Francisco, we are excited to be in the position to provide an environment where end users can experience the benefits of the technology first hand.
“Working with Ruckus Wireless, Global Reach, Towerstream, The City of San Francisco, Accuris Networks and BSG Wireless, we are able to provide a robust network and deliver a completely seamless and ubiquitous Wi-Fi experience across a number of locations and using a wide range of Passpoint enabled devices.”
The WBA has collaborated with Ruckus Wireless and Global Reach who will host the live NGH network in the Palace Hotel, the City of San Francisco who will provide the NGH network on Market Street, and with Accuris Networks and BSG Wireless acting as the main hub providers.
For the first time ever, the network will also include outdoor locations in the City of San Francisco where users can experience the benefits at popular tourist locales such as Union Square and Fisherman’s Wharf using Towerstream’s NGH network.
In addition, Passpoint R2 capabilities will be featured at the conference and will be demonstrated on mobile devices from Mediatek and Samsung.
The WBA membership includes fixed operators, wireless operators and key technology suppliers.