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UK ISPs BT, Sky and TalkTalk to Help Trial Next Generation WiFi Hotspots

Tuesday, Jun 26th, 2012 (1:14 pm) - Score 2,699

The Wi-Fi Alliance has today confirmed that several UK broadband providers, including BT, Sky Broadband (BSkyB), Everything Everywhere (Orange UK and T-Mobile), TalkTalk and Telefonica (O2), have all agreed to help trial the next generation of WiFi Hotspot (NGH) technology in Q4 2012.

The trial itself will employ the first generation of Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Passpoint™ equipment (Wi-Fi Alliance Hotspot 2.0 Specification), which allows related devices to securely (WPA2) and automatically discover and connect with wifi networks powered by Passpoint-certified access points.

This solution is designed to make it easier for end-users to roam between different wifi networks and for mobile operators to “offload” data traffic from their busy Mobile Broadband (3G, 4G) networks and onto nearby wifi Hotspots (i.e. hotspots that they either own themselves or have a partnership agreement with).

Edgar Figueroa, CEO of the Wi-Fi Alliance, said:

Product manufacturers partnered with service providers to develop the Passpoint program in the Wi-Fi Alliance. Our organization has become a key collaboration forum driving Wi-Fi’s evolution in support of service providers.”

Shrikant Shenwai, CEO of the Wireless Broadband Alliance, added:

Growing mobile data usage is driving a surge of operator interest in public Wi-Fi. Key to this is the development of a new generation of hotspots. Not only do they remove the need for cumbersome log-in procedures, they also support operator roaming agreements giving users broadband access wherever they are.

By employing simple connectivity, open standards and global operator relationships, public Wi-Fi now has the same crucial ingredients that made cellular technologies such a massive success. Many of the world’s largest operators are now set to put the first standards-based hotspot equipment through its paces in the most extensive trials ever conducted later this year.”

The Wi-Fi Alliance has today begun approving Passpoint certified kit and the first devices are expected to be officially deployed during H1 2013 next year.

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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