AT&T and Verizon have joined Wireless Broadband Alliance (â€œWBAâ€), a group dedicated to global Wireless Broadband roaming for public Wi-Fi networks.
AT&T and Verizon have joined Wireless Broadband Alliance (â€œWBAâ€), a group dedicated to global Wireless Broadband roaming for public Wi-Fi networks. WBA has also announced joining of Cisco, Comcast, Devicescape and KT Corporation to the group as well.
With the explosion in wireless data usage driven by rapid innovation of smartphones, tablets and laptops with built-in Wi-Fi access, group membership is evolving to also include device & equipment manufacturers, content and information providers.
WBA has planned public release of a set of specifications to aid the roaming between Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) at the 17th WBA Roundtable Conference and Wi-Fi Ecosystem Summit in San Diego. The event has started today.
The new specification, WISPr 2.0, will provide seamless authentication between Wi-Fi networks and other access networks like GSM/UMTS/LTE and WiMAX. WISPr 2.0 will also make roaming easier and help overcome interoperability problems, making it much easier for end users to login.
Commenting on the 3 day event, Chris Bruce, CEO of BT Openzone and Chair of the WBA said, â€œDemand for Wi-Fi access in the â€˜third placeâ€™ is growing, as more and more consumers want to stay connected in indoor locations outside the home or office. Uptake of smartphones and tablet devices has seen a rising number of companies offering Wi-Fi as part of their service mix and we are delighted to open the alliance to new members. We are excited about the upcoming meeting where together across the eco-system we will work on how we can make Wi-Fi even easier for customers to use.â€
A WISPr 2.0 trial will be launched at the event. The trial brings WBA members and industry partners together to demonstrate how mobile, cable, WiMAX and broadband service providers can seamlessly connect to Wi-Fi networks by taking advantage of WISPr 2.0 specification. Participants will work with leading wireless broadband operators to make their equipment and software compatible with WISPr 2.0 and to support seamless authentication on public Wi-Fi networks around the world. The initial trial is expected last 6 months.