The Wireless Broadband Alliance launched its City Wi-Fi Roaming project this week (23 August 2016) as part of the World Wi-Fi Day initiative to accelerate affordable wireless connectivity around the world.
The initiative allows consumers and visitors of major cities, including New York, San Francisco, San Jose and Singapore (pictured) to automatically and securely roam between the public Wi-Fi networks throughout August and September.
With the full backing of the Connected City Advisory Board, the City Wi-Fi Roaming project will focus industry, policy and public attention on addressing the divide between connected and unconnected societies.
The Wireless Broadband Alliance is encouraging cities, government bodies, fixed and mobile operators, technology vendors, internet giants and service providers, as well as retailers, to come together to deliver connectivity to everyone, everywhere.
The City Wi-Fi Roaming project sees dedicated participation from 20 operators offering free Wi-Fi access to people in major cities across the world, whilst 90 organisations are supporting the broader Word Wi-Fi Day initiative.
Roaming hubs are provided by Accuris Networks, BSG Wireless and Syniverse, as well as a captive portal and Wi-Fi AAA/Hotspot 2.0 OSU solutions platform provided by GlobalReach.
The free seamless Wi-Fi Roaming service is based on Next Generation Hotspot (NGH), Passpoint technology based on Hotspot 2.0 Specifications, for extra security and a better user experience.
There are over 1,000 hotspots in total with 228 in downtown San Francisco, 500 across San Jose at San Jose airport, downtown and at the Congress Centre, 200 LinkNYC Kiosks in New York and 290 on selected MRT stations and the Sentosa Island in Singapore, which is visited by 15 million people per year.
“With 4 billion people still unconnected, the greatest threat to the global economy is the vast gap between the connected world and the non-connected world,” said Shrikant Shenwai, CEO of the Wireless Broadband Alliance.
“The Wireless Broadband Alliance has a vision to ensure everyone can connect to the internet easily and cheaply and is encouraging cities, governments, operators and tech giants like Facebook, Google and Microsoft to collaborate in ensuring affordable, sustainable connectivity for all.”
Both the World Wi-Fi Day and the City Wi-Fi Roaming project are backed by the Connected City Advisory Board (CCAB), a body which aims to deliver the vision of Connected Cities around the world.
With senior representatives from New York City, Barcelona, Dublin, San Francisco, Singapore, San Jose, Mexico City, as well as the governments of Delhi and Philippines amongst those involved, the CCAB helps cities maximise the opportunities presented by universal connectivity and aids in the development and execution of Connected City plans.
“Connectivity continues to transform and improve the way we live in the world,” said Miguel Gamino, chief information officer for the City and County of San Francisco. “The roaming partnership is San Francisco’s contribution to our communal goal of making it easier for people to connect to Wi-Fi wherever they are around the globe. Our hope is that more cities will join.”
Alphonso Jenkins, deputy commissioner for telecommunications planning at New York City Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications and co-chair of CCAB added: “Connected Cities have the power to improve life for citizens and develop our nations. It is for this reason that the City of New York is making connectivity a priority and supporting the City Wi-Fi Roaming project as we truly appreciate the profound significance that wireless connectivity plays within our communities.”
Khoong Hock Yun, assistant chief executive for Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, commented: “As Singapore moves towards a smart nation, we are looking into ways in which we can solve big challenges and create new opportunities though technology. Secure and pervasive connectivity will be important in this journey.
“Through initiatives such as HetNet Trials and Wireless@SG, we hope to continually enhance the wireless experience in Singapore, as well as enable the creation of innovative products and services. We are happy to be part of the City Wi-Fi Roaming project, bringing Singapore and other cities a step closer to realizing a world of Connected Cities to benefit our society and global communities.”
The Wireless Broadband Alliance is supported by more than 135 leading names in the telecoms industry, including operators and technology companies such as AT&T, BT, Cisco, Comcast, Google, Intel, Liberty Global and Orange.
The City Wi-Fi Roaming Initiative is a supporting activity of World Wi-Fi Day, the foundation for driving and promoting connectivity worldwide. The Wireless Broadband Alliance is urging other cities to participate in the City Wi-Fi Roaming project. Anyone interested in getting involved, or looking to support and fund projects to connect the unconnected, can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information please visit: www.worldwifiday.com