WBA: “world on verge of one giant Wifi network”

WBA: “world on verge of one giant Wifi network”

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The world is on the verge of becoming one giant Wifi network, according to the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA), which this week further outlined its OpenRoaming initiative.

A series of announcements took place during WBA’s 37th annual Wireless Global Congress, which took place virtually on October 28th, featuring the association’s newly re-elected leaders.

Ahead of the event, chairman JR Wilson of AT&T and co-chair Dr. Derek Peterson of Boingo Wireless, confirmed WBA’s commitment to driving the creation of a secure and seamless global Wifi network that could enable business users and consumers to switch to, and pick up, a Wifi signal almost anywhere in the world.

“The vision is that billions of people and their devices could automatically and securely connect to many millions of Wifi networks around the world without the need for login, registration, or passwords,” said Wilson.

“Roam from a coffee house Wifi to a subway station network automatically – no need to re-login to maintain coverage. The world as a giant Wifi hotspot with easy, secure, and seamless access and coverage for everyone.”

Elaborating on potential revenue streams, WBA’s vision is to create new and innovative business models for companies opening their networks, as well as new marketing, promotional and sponsorship opportunities.

It has said this can be achieved through developments pioneered by its members that “exponentially increase the power, speed, capacity, strength and roaming capabilities of Wi-Fi networks”.

For example, the OpenRoaming™ approach is facilitating and enabling seamless transition between networks without the need to constantly re-register.

Secondly, the successful trials of the Wifi 6 and 6E standards have already demonstrated improvements in reliability, efficiency and performance even in challenging environments for wireless signals.  Lastly, the moves by regulators around the world to release the 6GHz spectrum for use by Wifi networks delivers radical improvements in service speed, latency and – most importantly – capacity for Wifi networks.

“The WBA is leading the charge with technical and business model developments that can revolutionise the way we use Wifi all around the world,” said Dr. Peterson.

“Our vision is to create Wifi networks that operate seamlessly and speedily, adding capacity for the tens of billions of devices looking to connect to fast wireless networks,” Peterson added.