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
Glo unveils 9G Bumper Data Offer for subscribersGlobacom has unveiled a new bonus data offer for millions of its subscribers. The new package which has a validity period of one month also gives 9 gigabytes of data for every subscription worth N4,000. Read More
Unitel to launch VoLTE with SRVCC in AngolaUNITEL in Angola has successfully completed the first call through the LTE network (VoLTE - Voice over LTE) with continuity of the call in case of handover. Read More
Vodafone Ghana Grand Prize winner takes home GHS100, 000It was an emotional moment for the winners of Vodafone “Yee Twi Kɔ” promo recently. Read More
MTN seeks relationship restoration with NCCMTN has expressed a desire to restore its relationship with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), insisting that it has the highest regard for the regulator regardless of the current situation in the industry. Read More
LTE network launched commercially in SomalilandAlepo announced today that Somcable, a major communications service provider in East Africa, has officially gone live with LTE in Somaliland. Alepo completed this LTE project in collaboration with Airspan. Read More
MTN launches first 4G LTE network in CameroonMTN has invested close to 60 billion FCFA over eight months to develop the first 4G network in Cameroon. Read More
ASUS enters Nigeria with ZenFone familyThe ZenFone family from ASUS has made its entry into the Nigerian market. Read More
Samsung unveils Gear S2 in KenyaSamsung Electronics East Africa has announced the next evolution in wearable technology with the introduction of the Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch. Read More
Tigo Tanzania launches 4G LTETigo subscribers in Tanzania can now enjoy the fastest internet connection following the unveiling of the company’s 4G LTE service in the country. Read More
FEATURED STORYViber Spreads Good Vibes in Africa with the introduction of public chats
Viber, one of the leading messaging and calling apps with more than 664 million unique users worldwide, has opened its latest social channel ‘Public Chats’ to partners in Africa and the Middle East.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHPoised for greater heights – Roshi Motman, AfricaCom CEO of the Year Winner
Roshi Motman is not your average CEO. Since taking up the reins as the first female CEO of Tigo Ghana in 2014, she has led the Tigo brand through a remarkable transformation.