GSMA,WBA join forces on simpler WiFi hotspots
MOBILE| March 24, 2012, 1:38 p.m.
The GSMA, representing the interests of mobile operators worldwide, and the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) are working together to simplify connectivity to Wi-Fi hotspots from mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.
The joint initiative is developing technical and commercial frameworks for Wi-Fi roaming, which will bring together the benefits of mobile technology and Wi-Fi networks for the first time, creating a far simpler consumer experience.
“The proliferation of smartphones and tablets around the world, as well as consumers’ huge appetite for data means innovative solutions need to be explored to make using the Internet as convenient and as accessible as possible,” said Dan Warren, Senior Director of Technology at the GSMA.
“Through combining the proven capabilities of Mobile Broadband and Wi-Fi technologies, users will have the freedom to move between networks with ease.”
Wi-Fi is increasingly emerging as a feature on smartphones and tablets, but today there is no consistency in the way these devices attach to Wi-Fi networks. This process includes device configuration, the use of access keys and the various mechanisms for acquiring and paying for connectivity. Wi-Fi roaming will allow mobile devices to seamlessly connect to a Wi-Fi hotspot using the SIM card for authentication, as well as enable mobile operators to uniquely and securely identify users whether they are on a mobile or Wi-Fi network.
Wi-Fi roaming will be based on the WBA’s ‘Next Generation Hotspot’ programme and the Wi-Fi Alliance’s ‘Passpoint certification’ technology. It will also build on the GSMA’s successful roaming principles that have propelled the mobile industry to more than six billion mobile connections worldwide, a number that is expected to more than double within the next ten years.
“The combination of Wi-Fi and mobile technologies extends the power of broadband for consumers,” said Shrikant Shenwai, CEO, WBA. “The work by the WBA and the GSMA will expedite the availability of a new generation of Internet access for the benefit of consumers everywhere. Key to this is Wi-Fi being able to replicate the success of mobile technology and allow users to roam seamlessly between different networks.”
To date, the Wi-Fi roaming initiative has identified and agreed to the basis for a common approach to authenticating mobile devices on Wi-Fi hotspots, automatically and securely. It will now work towards aligning guidelines on security, billing, data offload, device implementation and network selection to create a consistent solution for GSMA and WBA members. This work will build on the GSMA’s GPRS Roaming Exchange (GRX) and the WBA’s Wireless Roaming Intermediary Exchange (WRIX) roaming models, which combined, will enable billions of consumers around the world to enjoy straightforward Internet connectivity.
MORE MOBILE NEWS
MTN and Ericsson lead the way with first LTE-U networkTo future proof its business, MTN SA, together with Ericsson, has successfully trialled LTE-Unlicensed (LTE-U) at MTN’s flagship channel store in Morningside, Johannesburg. Read More
Airtel Trace Music Star activations target residential areas in NairobiThe Airtel Trace Music Star activation contest has now entered its second week. Read More
MTN Ghana scores high marks on QoS ReportThe latest Ghana National Communication Authority Quality of Service (QoS) report reveals sterling performance by MTN Ghana among its peers in meeting all the QoS indicators and their respective thresholds for compliance. Read More
Glo Ghana large enough for 20m data subscribersThe new Head of Business of the newly upgraded Glo Mobile Ghana network, Mr. Augustine Mamuro, has said that the company can comfortably cater to over 20 million data subscribers. Read More
Mobile technology can set the world ablaze with innovation and opportunitiesWith investment and footprint in the continent, MTN is ready to partner and set the world ablaze with innovative ICT solutions. Read More
Airtel unveils Smart SpeedooAirtel Nigeria has unveiled SmartSpeedoo, a revolutionary service that allow customers experience real data while browsing at affordable tariff and enjoying free megabytes. Read More
MTN Business launches converged SME ICT offersMTN Business has introduced a range of converged business offers for small and medium businesses (SMEs). Read More
Cubot launches smartphone designed by Kenyan artistsInternational Mobile firm Cubot has officially launched its latest flagship smartphone in Kenya. Read More
Glo leads with 95% of new internet subscriptionsGlobacom has successfully consolidated the gains it made in 2015 as Nigeria’s preferred network for data services by garnering 95% of the new internet subscriptions in January 2016. Read More
MTN Ghana ends 2015 with impressive gains in voice subscriptionMTN Ghana continues to make giants leaps in the country’s telecom industry, maintaining its lead in Mobile Voice Subscription service. Read More
FEATURED STORYCriticism over Remita borne out of ignorance, says SystemSpecs
The CEO of SystemSpecs, the company behind the revenue-saving Nigerian Single Treasury Account (TSA) system, speaks to Biztechafrica.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHIBM Opens First Cloud Data Centre in South Africa
IBM is opening a new IBM Cloud Data Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa. The new cloud center is the result of a close collaboration with Gijima and Vodacom and is designed to support cloud adoption and customer demand across the continent.
COMPANY NEWSKeeping up with the mobile banking evolution
Africa especially has witnessed the trend of mobile banking, due to the well-known fact that today more people on the continent have access to a mobile phone ...