Everyone is popping out a carrier Wi-Fi solution these days. The Wi-Fi Alliance is no exception. The critical difference is that the Alliance’s solution will be standardized. The Alliance is developing a certification program for Wi-Fi access points and dual-mode mobile devices that will automatically authenticate and provision smartphones and other mobile gadgets on public Wi-Fi networks.
Like many of the platforms released by vendors in recent month, Wi-Fi Mobile Hotspot would allow handsets to discover and automatically connect to Wi-Fi networks using credentials already embedded within the device such as SIM cards, said Sarah Morris, marketing manager for the Alliance. The specification would also add encryption to the equation, using WPA2 security protocols, and allow operators and consumers to prioritize different networks, for instance selecting an operator’s own hotspots ahead of an open but unknown access point, Morris said. Finally, once a connection is established, the operator can manage and provision traffic and services just as they would over their own wide area mobile networks.
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