Passpoint

Seamless, secure connection to Wi-Fi® networks

Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Passpoint® is an industry-wide solution that streamlines Wi-Fi access and eliminates the need for users to find and authenticate a network each time they visit. Passpoint access points (APs) can be deployed almost anywhere, from retail shops to large managed network environments such as enterprise, hotels, airports, and stadiums.

Once a user accesses the Wi-Fi network offered at a location, the Passpoint-enabled client device will automatically connect upon subsequent visits. This eliminates the need for users to search for and choose a network, request Wi-Fi access, and re-enter authentication credentials each time they visit. Passpoint automates the entire process, enabling more seamless connectivity between Wi-Fi networks and mobile devices, all while delivering enterprise-level security. Passpoint provisioning supports on-boarding of new devices (with or with-out a SIM card) by establishing credential information and providing policy information to the mobile device. 

Passpoint features

Passpoint improves the mobile user experience by offering:

  • Automatic network discovery and selection
  • Simplified online sign-up and instant account provisioning
  • Seamless network access and roaming between hotspots
  • Enhanced WPA3™ security

Supported by most enterprise-class APs on the market today and natively supported by major mobile operating systems such as Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows, Passpoint devices and networks go beyond providing a reliable, secure, automatic connection experience. Passpoint also delivers more value to carriers, service providers, and IT managers of enterprise networks, enabling:

  • Mobile data offload
  • Wi-Fi roaming agreements across carriers and service providers 
  • Opportunities to engage users and extract additional value from the network 
  • Wi-Fi–based services such as Wi-Fi calling
  • Streamlined, enterprise-class device provisioning and credential management for enterprise and other private networks

Passpoint is a foundational ingredient to global Wi-Fi roaming standards, reflects the depth and breadth of that collaboration as a great solution for end users, network operators, and device vendors.

Passpoint is a key component of Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Vantage™, a suite of technologies that drastically improve the user experience in managed networks. Wi-Fi Vantage devices layer the benefits of Passpoint’s seamless light-touch authentication, with better resource management, enterprise-level security, and high performance Wi-Fi to bring a better user experience in challenging network environments.

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

    Passpoint enabled mobile devices can 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, seamless authentication is a valuable element, and Passpoint networks also support deployments where a click-through screen is essential for acceptance of terms and conditions or branding.

  • 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 a user’s provider has 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 802.1X, 802.11u, 802.11i, and WPA3™-Enterprise security, as well as some Wi-Fi Alliance defined mechanisms.

  • 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?

    Passpoint provides a better Wi-Fi user experience while mobile. Users with certified Passpoint devices can enjoy the benefits of streamlined network selection and secure connectivity at Passpoint enabled hotspots. Passpoint-enabled devices operate based on user preference.

  • What does Passpoint bring to hospitality?

    Hospitality chains may own many brands but a single consolidated rewards program. Without Passpoint, either the rewards program SSID needs to be added at every hotel or users’ phones must be configured with several SSIDs. Passpoint can function with a single profile that identifies the rewards program instead of a hotel SSID. When a user visits an associated property, their device will automatically identify the access point and connect.

  • 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.

  • Can legacy clients join a network with Passpoint access points?

    Legacy mobile devices can connect to Passpoint access points configured for open system authentication, although they will not enjoy Passpoint features for network selection, automatic authentication, or expanded security. A user connecting to an open network with a legacy mobile device will manually find the available networks and then select and connect to the preferred network.

    The access points used in hotspot and enterprise networks are often configured to support multiple SSIDs (networks) on the same equipment; a configuration that offers a Passpoint-certified network and a separate open network allows Passpoint mobile devices to enjoy the full benefits while supporting legacy clients.

  • 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 types of equipment are tested for Passpoint?

    Infrastructure equipment such as access points, and mobile and portable devices such as smartphones, tablets, and notebooks have been certified. Passpoint is available on both SIM and non-SIM Wi-Fi devices.

  • Are Wi-Fi CERTIFIED products protected by security?

    As of July 1, 2020, all new Wi-Fi CERTIFIED devices require WPA3. The only way to be sure that a product meets the latest security standards is to purchase only Wi-Fi CERTIFIED products.

  • How does Wi-Fi Alliance help ensure product compatibility and a good user experience for certified products?

    Compatibility and quality are achieved through testing of Wi-Fi products. Consumers should always look for the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED logo to ensure the best user experience possible.