Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Passpoint™ adds value to service provider networks today and sets the stage for strategic advantage in the future

New study illustrates subscriber demand and expanding business opportunity

Consumer polling brief

Austin, Texas, September 24, 2013 – With smartphone and tablet usage continuing to explode, operator-deployed Wi-Fi® networks are playing an increasing role in keeping users connected on the go. A new study conducted in Europe on behalf of Wi-Fi Alliance® indicates that advanced features such as seamless authentication, on-site enrollment of additional devices, and Wi-Fi roaming present operators with compelling opportunities to drive business value.

The survey, conducted among more than 2000 users of both smartphones and tablets in France, Germany, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, illustrates the hunger among users for a more seamless experience in public Wi-Fi networks. Respondents were given a description of the seamless user experience enabled by Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Passpoint equipment. Among the findings:

  • Eighty-four percent of respondents are interested in having seamless discovery and authentication in hotspots
  • Seventy-four percent are willing to switch service providers in order to gain access to these advanced features
  • Ninety-one percent are likely to stay with their current service provider if they offered a service which incorporated these features

“Passpoint equipment is already delivering value to operators, and this value increases as Wi-Fi becomes central to fixed and mobile service provider business strategies, ,” said Wi-Fi Alliance president and CEO Edgar Figueroa. “Wi-Fi Alliance is expanding Passpoint to deliver even more advanced features to meet operators’ critical business objectives well into the future.”

The carrier Wi-Fi opportunity extends well beyond smartphones. Tablet usage in homes and on public Wi-Fi networks is on the rise and approaching rates similar to those of smartphone usage.  According to the study, more than one-third of users connect tablets to public Wi-Fi networks today and fifty-seven percent reported that they expect to connect their tablets via hotspot networks three years from now. The next release of Passpoint, planned for 2014, adds functionality to enable non-SIM device enrollment on-the-spot, extending user subscriptions to additional devices such as tablets, and enabling the enrollment of new subscribers.

Seamless Wi-Fi roaming is currently in trials among numerous service providers worldwide, and it presents another opportunity for service providers. Ninety-two percent of the survey respondents connect either a tablet or smartphone while traveling, leveraging a combination of cellular and Wi-Fi networks both within and outside their home service provider’s control. Fifty-eight percent of respondents stated they would be willing to pay more for a Wi-Fi roaming offering from their provider, and eighty percent agreed with the statement “I wish my service provider could be with me when I travel.”

“With innovations coming from the industry, the opportunity for advanced Wi-Fi to drive business value for service providers is clear,” said Mike Roberts, Principal Analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media. “Passpoint-certified equipment and inter-provider Wi-Fi roaming enable fixed and mobile providers to add new Wi-Fi-only subscribers, expand share of wallet among existing subscribers, and deliver a roaming experience that exceeds subscriber expectations.”

Wi-Fi Alliance has certified an extensive array of Passpoint network equipment and about 75 Passpoint client devices, including a diverse range of smartphones and tablets from a variety of vendors. Recent deployments of Passpoint-enabled networks demonstrate the growing support for delivery of a seamless user experience and commercialization of a unified roaming approach.

Technology enablers and business cases for carrier Wi-Fi are detailed in a new white paper, Carrier Wi-Fi®: A futureproof approach to expanded public Wi-Fi. The paper is available for download here.


About Wi-Fi Alliance®
Wi-Fi Alliance® is a global non-profit industry association of hundreds of leading companies devoted to seamless connectivity. With technology development, market building, and regulatory programs, Wi-Fi Alliance has enabled widespread adoption of Wi-Fi® worldwide. The Wi-Fi CERTIFIED program was launched in March 2000. It provides a widely-recognized designation of interoperability and quality, and it helps to ensure that Wi-Fi-enabled products deliver the best user experience. Wi-Fi Alliance has certified more than 15,000 products, encouraging the expanded use of Wi-Fi products and services in new and established markets.

Wi-Fi®, Wi-Fi Alliance®, WMM®, Wi-Fi Protected Access® (WPA), WiGig®, Wi-Fi Direct®, the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED logo, the Wi-Fi logo, the Wi-Fi ZONE logo and the Wi-Fi Protected Setup logo are registered trademarks of Wi-Fi Alliance. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™, Wi-Fi Protected Setup™, Wi-Fi Multimedia™, WPA2™, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Passpoint™, Passpoint™, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Miracast™, Miracast™, Wi-Fi ZONE™, WiGig CERTIFIED™, the Wi-Fi Alliance logo, and the WiGig CERTIFIED logo are trademarks of Wi-Fi Alliance.

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Karl Stetson
Edelman for Wi-Fi Alliance


Methodological note:

The Wi-Fi Alliance survey was conducted by Edelman Berland between August 20-30, 2013 among more than 2,000 consumers over 18 years of age in France, Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom who have multiple mobile devices.