Pioneering deployment signals convergence of Wi-Fi and cellular wireless technologies
Bob Friday, vice president and chief technology officer, mobility, Cisco
SAN JOSE, Calif. – Feb. 17, 2014 -- Hotspot 2.0 will be deployed on a grand scale for the first time, serving tens of thousands of conference attendees at Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. AT&T, Cisco and Accuris Networks are collaborating with several global mobile operators, including Bell Mobility, China Mobile, Korea Telecom, MEO, Mobily, NTT DOCOMO, PCCW-HKT, SK Telecom, and True to provide a Next-Generation Wi-Fi Hotspot network at the conference.
Customers of the participating mobile operators with the latest compatible phones will securely and automatically authenticate onto the Hotspot 2.0 Wi-Fi network when they walk through the conference doors, just as easily as they roamed onto the mobile network when they landed in Barcelona.
The Hotspot 2.0 standard is the product of many years of work in the industry, and has required open collaboration between mobile operators, network equipment vendors and handset manufacturers. In essence, it provides the same seamless, highly secure authentication on Wi-Fi that users are familiar with for cellular roaming. Hotspot 2.0 meets this standard and has been certified through the Wi-Fi Alliance certification process and has been designated Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Passpoint.
Three key elements came together to make this a groundbreaking public Next-Generation Hotspot 2.0 network. They are:
AT&T Mobility worked with its roaming partners worldwide, including the participating mobile operators, to add Wi-Fi roaming to their roaming agreements.
Cisco provided the carrier-grade Wi-Fi network, made up entirely of the latest Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Passpoint access points and controllers, based on the Hotspot 2.0 specification. The Cisco solution features self-configuring, self-optimizing and self-healing intelligence across the network, offering self-optimizing network (SON) performance over Wi-Fi.
Accuris Networks provided the cellular access to Wi-Fi connection that enables users at Mobile World Congress to securely and automatically connect onto the Wi-Fi network. Accuris Networks ensures there are no cumbersome passwords or pop-ups, while authentication and billing are managed, behind the scenes, through SIM cards, just like cellular.
“As the Wi-Fi and cellular worlds merge, developing a common authentication mechanism with standard roaming agreements is a natural next step,” said JR Wilson, Vice President, Partnerships and Alliances, AT&T Mobility and Chairman of the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA). “AT&T Mobility, the WBA, and other WBA partners have been involved in the Hotspot 2.0 and Next Generation Hotspot efforts since their inception. Demonstrating Hotspot 2.0 at Mobile World Congress is a major industry milestone towards global adoption.”
“Cisco started this initiative several years ago and it is great to see the vision of bringing the Wi-Fi user experience on par with cellular being realized,” said Bob Friday, vice president and chief technology officer, mobility, Cisco. “Several mobile device manufacturers now support Hotspot 2.0 and we are seeing the adoption of Hotspot 2.0 by mobile network operators with roaming agreements being put in place. And the Mobile World Congress network is a better venue to give attendees a taste of the near future, where Wi-Fi and cellular networks are seamless and act as one mobile Internet network. This is another significant milestone of the mobility innovation cycle.”
“Accuris Network’s AccuROAM solution makes any Wi-Fi network function just like an extension of a GSM or cellular network for offload, roaming, billing and authentication,” said Larry Quinn, CEO, Accuris Networks. “Last year at Mobile World Congress, our AccuROAM solution won the award for Best Mobile Technology Breakthrough, so this year it’s great to bring the benefits of this technology to the attendees of Mobile World Congress. Now, AT&T, Cisco and Accuris Networks team to ensure that Hotspot 2.0 Wi-Fi can be fully integrated with cellular networks for a seamless user experience at the Fira Gran Via.”
Hotspot 2.0 is just the beginning for the new mobile network. Once users can securely roam onto the Wi-Fi network as easily as they do on the cellular network, operators can start offering a host of new services that take advantage of the indoor location information and analytics uniquely provided by indoor small cells.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company and one of the most honored companies in the world. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and internationally. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation’s most reliable 4G LTE network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services. A leader in mobile Internet, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide of any U.S. carrier, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV service with the AT&T U-verse® brand. The company’s suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world.
Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in IT that helps companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow by proving that amazing things can happen when you connect the previously unconnected. Cisco is also a leader in carrier grade Wi-Fi and in cellular small cell technology. Several of its latest products combine these technologies to support the converged mobile network. For ongoing news, please go to http://thenetwork.cisco.com.
About Accuris Networks
Accuris Networks is an innovator in next-generation Wi-Fi offload and roaming solutions. Its mobile convergence platform, AccuROAM™, combines a 3GPP AAA server, smartphone client software, and policy and billing integration that delivers a seamless, secure user experience for data, voice and messaging. Awarded as "the best mobile technology breakthrough" at Mobile World Congress 2013, AccuROAM enables Wi-Fi networks to function as an extension of GSM or cellular networks for offload, billing and authentication. The AccuROAM platform is being deployed by communications providers to automatically connect and manage customers on all Wi-Fi technologies including WISPr, 802.1x and Hotspot 2.0 using secure authentication and mobility management. Today Accuris Networks is working with top tier global enterprises including AT&T, Mobily, China Mobile International, Bell Mobility, Gogo, Maxis. For more information, visit Accuris Networks at www.accuris-networks.com.