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Wireless Broadband Alliance and Wi-Fi Alliance® to demonstrate Wi-Fi® roaming at WBA Carrier Wi-Fi Summit at Mobile World Congress

Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) and Wi-Fi Alliance® will co-host a demonstration of Wi-Fi® roaming at Mobile World Congress next week in association with the WBA Carrier Wi-Fi Summit hosted onsite. Visitors to the demonstration will be able to experience seamless network authentication where a number of the latest Passpoint devices will be made available for attendees to roam on to the demonstration network. Supported by 18 operators, the demonstration offers an exclusive look at a live WBA Next Generation Hotspot network using Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Passpoint™ equipment from seven vendors, and reflects significant momentum toward industry-standard easy-to-use Wi-Fi hotspots and roaming.

With data traffic pressure on wireless networks expected to increase more than 400 percent in the next four years, industry support for Wi-Fi roaming services leveraging NGH Guidelines and Passpoint is coalescing. Recent research conducted by Maravedis-Rethink on behalf of WBA indicates that more than half of operators surveyed have become “more confident” about investing in public Wi-Fi than in the previous year. More than 27 global operators have participated in three phases of WBA NGH trials, and to date, more than 400 devices have obtained Passpoint certification, including a wide range of smartphones and tablets.

“The availability of industry-standard Wi-Fi roaming as a successor to proprietary implementations sets the stage for deployment by a broad set of mobile operators,” said Caroline Gabriel, Research Director at Maravedis-Rethink. “Progress in Passpoint device implementation and broad consensus on roaming guidelines significantly eases deployment, enabling operators to realize the opportunities for advanced Wi-Fi roaming.”

In response to Wi-Fi deployment trends among operators, Wi-Fi Alliance and WBA have expanded their collaboration beyond coordination on hotspot technology requirements into a broader set of activities to advance Carrier Wi-Fi. Coordination amongst several influential industry groups will help define a shared vision for Carrier Wi-Fi and identify early opportunities to deliver on that vision. Wi-Fi technology innovations have the potential to further enhance the user experience, drive end-to-end integration, and improve network management.

“Confidence in Wi-Fi has increased significantly over the past 12 months as operators view it as a critical part of the hetnet. With Next Generation Hotspot deployments becoming more commonplace, this confidence will continue to grow well into the future,” said Shrikant Shenwai, CEO of Wireless Broadband Alliance. “We are pleased to extend our work with Wi-Fi Alliance to ensure that our industry is delivering on the promise of Carrier Wi-Fi.”

“Collaboration among stakeholders is more important than ever as operator Wi-Fi deployments accelerate,” said Wi-Fi Alliance president and CEO Edgar Figueroa. “Our work with WBA is an important element to continue our industry’s progress toward Carrier Wi-Fi.”

The Wi-Fi roaming demonstration takes place as part of the WBA Carrier Wi-Fi Summit. The event will include a conference, networking opportunities, and exhibition. Wi-Fi Alliance, a lead industry partner for the event, will participate with an executive keynote speaker and help lead a session addressing tactical considerations in deploying Passpoint and NGH. To see the full agenda, visit: http://www.wballiance.com/carrier-wi-fi-summit/conference-program

About the Wireless Broadband Alliance

Founded in 2003, the aim of the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) is to secure an outstanding user experience through the global deployment of next generation Wi-Fi. In order to make this a reality, the WBA is currently championing various initiatives in the Wi-Fi ecosystem including Next Generation Hotspot (NGH) trials, Wi-Fi Roaming and its Interoperability Compliance Program (ICP). Today, membership includes major fixed operators such as BT, Comcast and Time Warner Cable; seven of the top 10 mobile operator groups (by revenue) and leading technology companies such as Cisco, Google and Intel. WBA member operators collectively serve more than 1 billion subscribers and operate more than 5 million hotspots globally. The WBA Board includes Arqiva, AT&T, Boingo Wireless, BT, China Mobile, Cisco Systems, Comcast, iPass, KT Corporation, NTT DOCOMO, Orange and Ruckus Wireless.

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About Wi-Fi Alliance®

www.wi-fi.org

Wi-Fi Alliance® is a global non-profit industry association – our members are the worldwide network of companies that brings you Wi-Fi®. The members of our collaboration forum come from across the Wi-Fi ecosystem and share a vision of seamless connectivity. Since 2000, the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED seal of approval designates products with proven interoperability, industry-standard security protections, and the latest technology. Wi-Fi Alliance has certified more than 18,000 products, delivering the best user experience and encouraging the expanded use of Wi-Fi products and services in new and established markets. Today, billions of Wi-Fi products carry a significant portion of the world’s data traffic in an ever-expanding variety of applications.

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