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WBA OpenRoaming enabled in forthcoming Telecom Infra Project OpenWiFi standard

Open technology initiative adopts OpenRoaming Wi-Fi roaming standard to facilitate what is claimed to be seamless roaming connectivity using the wireless network

The Telecom Infra Project (TIP), the initiative focused on accelerating the pace of innovation in the telecom industry worldwide, has adopted the OpenRoaming standard from the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) for its soon-to-be-launched OpenWiFi initiative.

TIP aims to accelerate the pace of innovation in the telecom industry by designing, building and deploying technologies that are more flexible and efficient. It says that today’s operators face a key challenge: demands on their networks continue to rise despite a persistent connectivity gap.

It also says that operators need to extend their networks to connect more people, as well as upgrade their networks to support increasing traffic. TIP has a number of community labs around the world where members can test and validate new technologies with the goal of creating more flexible, efficient solutions. As an example of such work, TIP noted that Facebook has partnered with more than 500 global technology and telecom leaders to design, build and deploy new telecom technologies.

To be launched on 12 May, the OpenWiFi project aims to reimagine the way enterprise grade Wi-Fi networks are built and deployed. The project will use open-source development and automated testing to allow Wi-Fi service providers to deploy access points, cloud controllers and smart analytics from different suppliers. It will allow for automated testing and the power of community to create an entirely new option for Wi-Fi service providers.

The launch event will feature a global base of operators, managed service providers, cloud and ODM suppliers, analytics and application suppliers, and allied industry organisations who will showcase their plans and the extent of the ecosystem-powered approach for connectivity.

For its part, the WBA believes that TIP’s adoption of its OpenRoaming standard will accelerate the adoption of the standard, allowing users to securely roam from location to location without the need for logins, registrations or passwords.

The vision for the WBA OpenRoaming Wi-Fi roaming standard is that the world will become a single, giant Wi-Fi network, allowing billions of people and their devices to connect automatically and securely to millions of Wi-Fi networks around the world.

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The standard was introduced in early 2020 and has high-profile backers including AT&T, Boingo, Broadcom, Cisco, Commscope, Deutsche Telekom, Facebook, Google, Intel, Net Experience and Samsung. A cross-industry survey announced in November 2020 showed that 79% of organisations planned to adopt OpenRoaming.

“WBA OpenRoaming is a strong complement to OpenWiFi as both projects are designed to remove barriers to connectivity,” said Wireless Broadband Alliance CEO Tiago Rodrigues.

“The WBA and TIP are both envisioning a world, hopefully not too far away, where digital connectivity becomes simpler and more streamlined for the entire ecosystem of communications service providers, OEMs, enterprises and consumers.”

“The WBA’s collaboration with TIP has been key to the community’s development of out-of-the-box support for OpenRoaming on OpenWiFi,” added TIP chief engineer David Hutton. “OpenRoaming benefits service providers and network users alike, extending cellular connectivity onto Wi-Fi networks, while providing a seamless network roaming experience for people.”

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