The Philippines’ wireless leader Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) and Orange have successfully performed the first live roaming transaction using the latest Wi-Fi technologies for the deployment of Next Generation Hotspots (NGH).
This marks a key milestone in the Next Generation Hotspot Trial announced in June by the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA,) the operator-led organization driving next generation Wi-Fi experience.
The trial involves end-to-end inter-operator testing of NGH roaming and authentication requirements.
Next Generation Hotspots bring the automatic login procedures that are familiar in cellular networks to Wi-Fi for the first time.
By eliminating the need for users and devices to sign into a service provider’s Wi-Fi service, NGH makes connecting to the Internet seamless—much like when a mobile phone automatically connects from cell site to cell site.
According to Cisco , one of the proponents of Next Generation Hotspot, the new wireless technology helps to ensure a superior user experience with secure and seamless authentication and roaming.
During the NGH Trial facilitated by WBA, mobile phones equipped with Smart SIM cards were able to connect instantly to Orange WiFi without the need to manually join the network.
“This opens up a lot of possibilities not only for Smart and Orange subscribers, but for the billions of mobile users in the world,” said Smart Chief Wireless Advisor Orlando B. Vea. “With the right business model and proper deployment, we would be able to make the Next Generation Hotspot yet another means of bringing the power of the Internet into the hands of every Filipino,” he added.
Chris Bruce, Chair of the WBA said: “The NGH Trials are running globally among our member companies. The end goal is to simplify our customers’ Wi-Fi experience. This announcement marks exciting progress towards that goal.”
Cédric Gonin, WBA Co-Chair and Orange WiFi Director said: This trial success is the first milestone, confirming the availability of the technical enablers to make Wi-Fi as easy to use as mobile especially when roaming.
The NGH Trials are scheduled to complete early next year and Smart plans to deploy Next Generation Hotspot services mid-2012.