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
Chris wins Ghana Vodafone Icons 2014 in grand styleThe auditorium of Ghana’s national theatre came to a standstill on Wednesday night as the master of ceremonies for the occasion announced Chris as the overall winner of the 2014 Vodafone Icon contest. Read More
Airtel Ghana sweeps PR Excellence AwardsAirtel Ghana, Telecommunications giant and winner of CIMG Marketing Oriented Company of the Year, has won five awards at the 2014 Institute of Public Relations Excellence Awards. Read More
Who wins Vodafone Icons 2014?Come Wednesday, the final five Vodafone Icons contestants will battle it out and trill music fans to their wonderful compositions to climax this year’s Remix Edition of Vodafone Icons at the National Theatre. Read More
Alliance for Affordable Internet welcomes Ghanaian moves to cut mobile phone taxesThe Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) has welcomed Ghana’s commitment to scrap hefty import duties on smartphones. Read More
VMware Study: Businesses can Take Three Weeks to get Employees Mobile-ReadyEMEA businesses say concerns over trust, ownership and delivery capability may hold back taking advantage of the mobile cloud-era. Read More
Satellite-powered tablet to use Newtec technology for e-learningSatellite solution provider Yazmi has announced a new e-learning scheme using the first satellite-enabled tablet, called Odyssey, and Newtec's multicast technology to deliver content via satellite to rural, remote and low income regions in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Read More
TECNO to launch sub-$30 smartphone next yearDevice manufacturer TECNO Mobile is planning to launch a smartphone next year that will cost less than US$30, as it looks to remove the barriers to smartphone ownership in Africa. Read More
Airtel, Facebook to bring Internet.org mobile app to KenyaAirtel has announced a partnership with Facebook to offer the Internet.org app to its prepaid and post-paid customers in Kenya beginning later this week. Read More
80% interest in “right person, right message, right moment” mobile marketingNew research reveals that although 80% of respondents feel annoyed when receiving unsolicited messages, the same proportion could be won back by operators and brands if they implemented best practices to improve customer engagement. Read More
Airtel Ghana MD urges youth: ‘strive for excellence’The Managing Director of Airtel Ghana, Lucy Quist, has called on all to blaze their own trail through persistence in the pursuit of their dreams. Read More
FEATURED STORYGSMA: half a billion mobile subscribers in SSA by 2020
The number of unique mobile subscribers in Sub-Saharan Africa will pass the half billion mark in 2020, says a new GSMA report.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAfrica lags on digital migration
Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.