Wireless Broadband Alliance and Wi-Fi Alliance® Collaborate on Hotspot Innovations

PARIS, FRANCE: June 21, 2011 - The Wi-Fi Alliance and Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) have announced plans to collaborate in order to harmonize their programs related to Wi-Fi hotspot ease of use and roaming. WBA's inter-operator Wi-Fi roaming efforts and Wi-Fi Alliance's planned certification program for Wi-Fi equipment will be developed with close coordination between the two groups to help ensure the best user experience.

The Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ hotspot certification program is designed to create the technology and testing programs necessary to allow Wi-Fi devices to easily connect at hotspots in a security-protected, interoperable fashion by streamlining network selection and access. Wi-Fi Alliance members are working to define technologies and certification requirements for both Wi-Fi infrastructure devices as well as endpoints like handsets, tablets and notebooks. The planned launch of the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED hotspot certification program is targeted for the middle of 2012, with preliminary testing activities expected to begin later this year.

The WBA's Next Generation Hotspot (NGH) program defines interoperability requirements for hotspot and 3G/4G operators. The program includes development of comprehensive operator guidelines and an ecosystem trial to facilitate migration to Next Generation Hotspots. The NGH program builds on the Wi-Fi-based inter-operator roaming and related business best practices developed by WBA. It enables business relationships among various network operators to deliver seamless Wi-Fi access and facilitate offload from licensed networks. A trial launched under the program this week between leading operators and vendors will address seamless, secure auto-authentication on multiple operator networks.

The two organizations will coordinate on testing methodologies and models, and will share information about their respective specifications and technologies to ensure that the programs are aligned. Members from the groups will also collaborate on the brand identity for hotspots implementing the solutions, enabling end users to easily identify products and hotspots based on the advanced specifications.

"Working together to harmonize these two programs helps ensure that there will be a complete solution to evolve the user experience in Wi-Fi hotspots around the world," said Edgar Figueroa, CEO of the Wi-Fi Alliance. "The Wi-Fi Alliance's work to bring streamlined access and WPA2™ security to hotspot environments is well complemented by the work in WBA to enable seamless Wi-Fi roaming."

"With the number of hotspots growing worldwide, and the increasing importance of Wi-Fi to service providers' strategies, this is a crucial time for our organizations to work together," said Shrikant Shenwai, CEO of the Wireless Broadband Alliance. "WBA's Next Generation Hotspot program aims to deliver a seamless Wi-Fi user experience across operators globally, and the cooperation with Wi-Fi Alliance will maximize the benefits of innovation for end users, manufacturers and service providers."



About the Wi-Fi Alliance
The Wi-Fi Alliance is a global non-profit industry association of hundreds of leading companies devoted to the proliferation of Wi-Fi technology across devices and market segments. With technology development, market building, and regulatory programs, the 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. The Wi-Fi Alliance has completed more than 10,000 product certifications to date, 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), 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 the Wi-Fi Alliance. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™, Wi-Fi Direct™, Wi-Fi Protected Setup™, Wi-Fi Multimedia™, WPA2™ and the Wi-Fi Alliance logo are trademarks of the Wi-Fi Alliance.


About the Wireless Broadband Alliance
The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) was established in 2003 by a group of visionary operators as a global forum for wireless broadband ecosystem. Its founders and current membership includes mobile, broadband and integrated operators who view Wi-Fi as a strategic complement to other networks such as 3G/UMTS, WiMAX, DSL, Cable, and more.

The mission of WBA is to facilitate adoption of Wi-Fi enabled services through improvements in user experience, interoperability and service delivery across technologies, devices and networks. By leveraging its unique membership mix and strong operator heritage, WBA seeks to engage the ecosystem for enabling a seamless Wi-Fi experience for the benefit of the end-users. The WBA has developed a range of technical enablers and commercial frameworks, including the award-winning WRiX (Wireless Roaming Intermediary Exchange), WISPr 2.0 (enhancements to the Wi-Fi roaming best practices available publicly) amongst others. These have been instrumental in driving global Wi-Fi roaming. The leading operators and roaming providers have adopted these to successfully deliver a consistent Wi-Fi roaming experience and to reduce implementation time and effort. These enablers are being adopted by wider ecosystem to integrate Wi-Fi across technologies for 3G to Wi-Fi offload and WiMAX-Wi-Fi interworking opportunities. The WBA actively collaborates with other industry forums to enhance and harmonise wireless broadband roaming standards.

The members of the WBA include an influential group of 57 leading wireless broadband industry players from around the world. Together, the operator members of WBA own a global footprint of 220,000 hotpots, spanning key markets, cities and locations across Europe, Asia Pacific and Americas, with a pool of above 350 million subscribers. The current Board members of WBA include AT&T, BT, Boingo, Cisco, Deutsche Telekom, KT, Orange France, True Internet and TMN/Portugal Telecom.


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Wi-Fi Alliance Contacts:
Karl Stetson
Edelman USA for Wi-Fi Alliance

Matthew Whalley 
Edelman London for Wi-Fi Alliance
+44 (0)20 3047 2325

Sandrine Cormary
Edelman France for Wi-Fi Alliance
+33 (0)1 56 69 73 86


Wireless Broadband Alliance Contacts:
Martin Dyan
Fishburn Hedges for Wireless Broadband Alliance
+44 207 544 3021

Charlie Howard
Fishburn Hedges for Wireless Broadband Alliance
+44 207 544 3037