WBA’s OpenRoaming open for business
The creation of a single, global Wifi network is a step closer following the launch of WBA’s OpenRoaming, an initiative promising to create new commercial business models and “innovative services with speed and simplicity”.
OpenRoaming simplifies the Wifi experience by allowing partner company customers to automatically connect on any Wifi network managed by a federation member.
The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) said that, from enterprises to coffee shops, concert venues to connected cars, OpenRoaming “creates a world where Wifi users move from one network to another without needing to constantly re-register or sign-in”.
Declaring the service “open for business”, WBA CEO Tiago Rodrigues said: “Wifi is already arguably the most successful wireless technology of our time, but with these globally agreed standards and policies, we can take public-guest Wifi to another level in terms of ease-of-use and global availability.
“The WBA OpenRoaming creates an open framework for all types of players to join and develop their Wifi services and create new business opportunities. We invite venues, vendors and operator/identity providers to join WBA OpenRoaming and revolutionise Wifi usage around the world,” Rodrigues added.
Originally based on Cisco’s OpenRoaming technology, WBA signed a deal earlier this year to transfer ownership, development, promotion and administration of the technology to the Alliance.
OpenRoaming is now backed by a global Wifi federation of WBA members, including: Airmesh, Airties, Aprecomm, American Tower, Aptilo, AT&T, Boingo Wireless, Broadcom Inc, Cisco, Cityroam, Comcast, Commscope, Deutsche Telekom, Eduroam, Eleven Software,GlobalReachTechnology, Google, Hub One, Hughes Systique Corp, Intel Corporation, IT&E, m3connect, Nomosphere, Orange, Purple Wifi, Samsung, Single Digits, Sun Global, Veniam, WifiCoin and Zephyrtel.
"Since we deployed Passpoint® two years ago, it proved to be a great success and it brought great experience for around one million of our users. We are very excited about WBA’s initiative to create a global federation and thus help propose this great service for millions more users in large public venues. In 2024, our goal is to provide a seamless Wifi experience thanks to Passpoint® to visitors from all around the world during Paris Olympic Games,” said Jean-Christophe Budin, wireless director, Hub One.
Other partners are encouraged to join, including equipment vendors, identity providers, venues and operators – as well as private and public Wifi networks.
Eric McLaughlin, VP client computing group and GM wireless solutions group at Intel Corporation, added: “OpenRoaming™ will provide virtually seamless hotspot connections to users around the globe and continues the rolling thunder of Wifi innovations following Wifi 6 and upcoming Wifi 6E products. Intel is excited to join the WBA and our industry partners in delivering this world changing technology to a world that relies on connectivity more and more each day.”
In Q3 last year, WBA and the Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance partnered to explore how 5G networks could be integrated with private Wifi networks, allowing operators to extend services to buildings and integrated with secure private networks that are built to the new Wifi 6 standard.