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
Student, others now landlords in MTN Trutalk promoMore lucky winners have emerged in the MTN Trutalk Best 11 Promo. At the final prize presentation ceremony held in Victoria Island, Lagos, at the weekend, some lucky winners were presented with gift of houses worth N15million each. Read More
Airtel, Ericsson extend partnership with LTE deployment in GabonAirtel Gabon has partnered with Ericsson for the deployment of next generation LTE technology and mobile network transformation. Read More
Afmobi promises Nigerians jobs with offline platformA team of experts at Afmobi Nigeria have designed a wireless platform that will create jobs or make Nigerians entrepreneurs through a plethora of fun apps, games, movie, music, pictures and business content hosted on a ‘magical fun box’ called Palmplay offline TM. Read More
The hospital of tomorrow uses mobileAruba Networks discusses how mobile technology is creating a radical shift in the future of healthcare. Read More
MNOs prefer paying fines to compliance, says NCCThe NCC has expressed disgust at the attitude of mobile network operators (MNOs) in Nigeria when it comes to compliance. Read More
Safaricom announces new suite of data productsSafaricom has announced a suite of new data products that will offer its subscribers access to faster data more conveniently. Read More
African wireless to benefit from Fortinet’s Meru acquisitionEnterprises looking to boost their wireless network security, capacity and control are set to benefit from Fortinet’s pending acquisition of Meru Networks, says the Fortinet Africa team. Read More
BlackBerry makes $137m from software, technology licensing in 3 monthsBlackBerry Limited this week reported its financial results for the three months ended May 3 this year, showing earnings of $137 million from software and technology licensing revenue. Read More
Broadband a GDP enabler: MainOneBroadband has a key role to play as an enabler to increase employment and grow GDP, MainOne CEO Funke Opeke told the recent Commonwealth Broadband Forum held in Abuja. Read More
FEATURED STORYKenyan SACCOS riding on innovation to attract customers
As confidence in mainstream banks remains low due to prohibitive interest rates, customers are embracing Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCO) as an alternative.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAs curtain falls on MDGs, what next?
Dr. Bjorn Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus Centre, speaks to Biztechafrica about setting smart targets.