Next Generation Hotspots to Roll Out in 12 Months Says Wireless Broadband Alliance

February 24, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

There is going to be a major overhaul in the way you are connecting with Wi-Fi hotspots. The Wi-Fi Alliance has already revealed plans to start certifying devices under a new passport initiative. It will help mobile devices to connect with Wi-Fi networks easily.

While using devices with the passport standard set by Wi-Fi Alliance, users need not enter their log on credentials whenever they connect to a Wi-Fi network. This way, users can simply roam from one Wi-Fi network to another passport-enabled one, with a compatible device.

Things are getting brighter for the Next Generation Hotspots (NGH) with Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) has decides to take up some action from their part, to follow up the Wi-Fi Alliance initiative by integrating the passport enabled devices and hot spots in to the usual network of a carrier.

After finding the Next Generation Hotspot trails with companies like AT&T, China Mobile, BT, NTT DoCoMo and Orange encouraging, WBA now thinks it is possible to roll out the new technology within a matter of 12 months.

If the passport system enables easy connection with a Wi-Fi hot spot, the initiative from WBA is expected to make the handshake between the phone and hotspot to be extended to the back end systems of the carrier where the hotspot connection turns out to be just like a normal cellular connection.

This way, the complementary relation between Wi-Fi hotspots and mobile networks will turn into a reality. Thus with NGH system, data sessions and voice calls can be passed from cellular network to a Wi-Fi connection spot where the Wi-Fi hotspot becomes just another cell on the carrier network.

NGH is expected to offer support for complex roaming arrangements since no operator will be able to build Wi-Fi hot spots all over the globe. They will have to find partners all over the globe, giving users a chance to pick up which network they want to connect to.

Well, NGH is an emerging concept, and we hope to hear more about it at MWC. Stay tuned.

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