Operators

Fixed, mobile and hotspot operators around the globe are deploying Wi-Fi® in business models tailored to fit their unique needs. Wi-Fi’s proven performance and ubiquity have created an opportunity for operators to address a large share of users’ wireless data needs and to deliver content outside the home. Wi-Fi is being used to improve coverage, offload data traffic, increase network density, reach consumers with paid content outside the home, increase loyalty and reduce roaming costs.

The Wi-Fi industry is responding to the breadth of need with a tremendous level of innovation. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Passpoint is only the beginning.

Wi-Fi brings unique characteristics and a roadmap of advancements that offer many benefits for operators. Already a power tool to increase capacity in operator networks by leveraging the ubiquity of Wi-Fi in mobile devices, the roadmap of continued enhancements under development will ensure that Wi-Fi technology continues to drive opportunity for operators.

With strong representation from operators, equipment makers, and consumer electronics makers in the organization, the Wi-Fi Alliance® collaboration forum is uniquely suited to bring about technology innovations that meet operator requirements. To ensure alignment and deliver the most valuable programs across the operator ecosystem, Wi-Fi Alliance has liaison agreements with other operator-focused organizations including CTIA – The Wireless Association®, GSM Association, Wireless Broadband Alliance, and CableLabs®.

Shape the future of Wi-Fi. Join Wi-Fi Alliance today.

Passpoint is just the beginning. Our members are developing enhancements to Wi-Fi that are of strategic importance to operator networks. Numerous operators from around the world participate in the Wi-Fi Alliance to help shape our technologies and certification programs with the unique needs of service providers in mind. These groups also provide an opportunity to incorporate end-user feedback in order to enhance the Wi-Fi experience.

The benefits of Wi-Fi Alliance membership extend well beyond participating in the industry's only certification program. Learn more about Wi-Fi Alliance membership or contact us.

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Frequently Asked Questions
  • How does Passpoint support service provider branding and customer relationships?

    Passpoint-enabled mobile devices can “see behind” the network to choose networks based on a list of preferred (direct or partner) providers, specific services and/or the best performance characteristics. For service providers offering a managed experience, invisible authentication is a valuable element. For service providers where a click-through screen is essential for acceptance of terms and conditions or branding, Passpoint networks can support that configuration.

  • How does Passpoint equipment support Wi-Fi roaming?

    Passpoint devices use industry-agreed uniform mechanisms for discovering and creating secured connections to hotspots. This allows a subscriber to experience seamless Wi-Fi connectivity to a hotspot anywhere in the world his provider covers through roaming agreements. Passpoint is specified as a requirement for the Wireless Broadband Alliance’s industry work on Wi-Fi roaming.

  • What standards does Passpoint draw on?

    Passpoint makes use of elements of IEEE 802.11u during discovery. The specification underlying Passpoint also leverages WPA2™-Enterprise security and new technology defined in Wi-Fi Alliance.

  • Who created the Passpoint program?

    Members of Wi-Fi Alliance created the program.  The group which developed Passpoint includes service providers, mobile operators, fixed line operators, and makers of mobile devices and infrastructure equipment.

  • What does Passpoint mean for end users?

    Users with certified mobile equipment can enjoy the benefits of streamlined network selection and streamlined, secure connectivity at hotspots with Passpoint equipment. Passpoint-enabled devices operate based on user preference.

  • Can existing equipment be upgraded for Passpoint?

    The hardware and software platform of a given device determines whether it can be upgraded in the field. Equipment that has previously undergone certification testing can be updated and resubmitted for Passpoint certification.

  • Does Passpoint support voice over Wi-Fi?

    The scope of Passpoint testing is to ensure that the mechanisms for seamless discovery and creation of a secured link are implemented correctly. It is application-agnostic.

  • What features does Passpoint certification test?

    Passpoint certification testing ensures that devices perform network discovery, selection and provisioning of services the same way. Passpoint devices are also tested for implementation of WPA2-Enterprise security.

  • What is the difference between Passpoint and Hotspot 2.0?

    Passpoint is the brand for the certification program operated by Wi-Fi Alliance. Devices that pass this certification testing can be referred to as “Passpoint devices”. Passpoint certification is based on the Wi-Fi Alliance Hotspot 2.0 Specification. This is the underlying technological specification developed by Wi-Fi Alliance members, and is copyrighted and owned by Wi-Fi Alliance.

  • What are the tests included in the Converged Wireless RF Profile?

    The comprehensive over-the-air testing program provides detailed measurements on key parameters, described in layperson terms below. The measurements are taken in a 360-degree environment in order to create “real-world” conditions:

    • Measurements to provide information about the reach of a Wi-Fi radio signal sent by a converged phone or AP, called transmit power (TRP, or Total Radiated Power)
    • Measurements to provide information about how well the Wi-Fi radio can detect an incoming signal in a converged phone or AP, called receive sensitivity (TIS, or Total Isotropic Sensitivity)

    In addition, the program includes:

    • Measurement of the signals ahead of the Wi-Fi antenna, called conducted power and sensitivity
    • Measurement of the reduction in sensitivity (desensitization) of a Wi-Fi receiver caused by the presence of an active cellular transmitter, and to ensure that the performance of the Wi-Fi receiver is within acceptable limits
    • Measurements of the desensitization of a cellular receiver caused by the presence of an active Wi-Fi transmitter, and to ensure that the performance of the cellular receiver is within acceptable limits

    To complete the testing a device must also be Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ for core Wi-Fi interoperability and WPA2™ security, and CTIA certified for cellular performance.

  • What is the benefit of the Converged Wireless RF Profile Test to carriers?

    This industry-supported program provides detailed information about the RF performance of the Wi-Fi radio in a converged handset, as well as how the cellular and Wi-Fi radios impact one another. It provides a uniform evaluation approach that enables a standard way to contrast and compare converged devices.

  • What is the Converged Wireless Group RF Profile Test?

    The Converged Wireless Group RF Profile Test is a test plan that was jointly developed by CTIA® and Wi-Fi Alliance® to provide detailed radio frequency performance profile in a mixed-network (Wi-Fi and Cellular) environment. Manufacturers of converged handsets and Wi-Fi networking infrastructure devices (access points) can participate in this test program to provide carriers with independent evaluations of their equipment, and carriers can use the test reports to compare handsets from different manufacturers. Completion of CWG testing does not result in a Wi-Fi certification.