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Boingo Wireless claims commercial use first with open source software for Wi-Fi 6E

Telecom Infra Project hits new milestone as wireless operator expands its converged technology portfolio with new flexible Wi-Fi architecture to streamline network deployments

The Telecom Infra Project (TIP), a global community of companies and organisations driving wireless infrastructure systems, has claimed a new milestone for its OpenWiFi products, with Boingo Wireless becoming the first of its community participants to adopt the TIP OpenWiFi software standard to enhance its Wi-Fi 6E network builds for commercial deployment.

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 today’s operators face a key challenge: demands on their networks continue to rise despite a persistent connectivity gap. It also says 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 said Facebook has partnered with more than 500 global technology and telecom leaders to design, build and deploy new telecom technologies.

TIP OpenWiFi participant companies include Meta, Boingo Wireless, Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom, MTN and Qualcomm, among others. TIP OpenWiFi is managed jointly by the Open Converged Wireless Software Group co-chaired by Boingo Wireless, Deutsche Telekom and Meta, and the Wi-Fi Solution Group, co-chaired by Deutsche Telekom and Meta.

The association focuses on accelerating the pace of innovation in the telecom industry worldwide, and has adopted the OpenRoaming standard from the Wireless Broadband Alliance for its OpenWiFi initiative.

Launched in May 2021, the OpenWiFi project aims to reimagine the way enterprise grade Wi-Fi networks are built and deployed. It 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.

TIP OpenWiFi is a disaggregated Wi-Fi software system, offered as a free open source solution that includes a cloud controller software development kit and access point (AP) firmware, capable of running on a rich variety of indoor and outdoor AP hardware and software, designed and validated by TIP to work seamlessly together.

For select projects, Boingo Wireless is working with TIP OpenWiFi ecosystem partners Actiontec for Wi-Fi 6E access points combined with the NetExperience management and controller platform for cloud and controller software. The TIP OpenWiFi-based system enables Boingo Wireless to mix and match additional access points and controllers from any TIP OpenWiFi compliant manufacturer, enabling it to easily expand existing wireless network builds.

Also, Boingo Wireless’s Wi-Fi 6E network, using TIP’s OpenWiFi solution, is said to be able to increase network capacity and efficiency for activities such as video streaming, video conferences, gaming and the metaverse.

“To keep pace with 5G demands and exponential growth in network traffic, wireless technologies are converging and becoming more interoperable,” said Derek Peterson, chief technology officer at Boingo Wireless. “Open source solutions like TIP OpenWiFi bring together the cloud, software and hardware, simplifying network architecture for more streamlined, scalable Wi-Fi deployments within the enterprise. Adopting this standards-based technology is part of Boingo’s commitment to deliver secure, flexible, neutral host networks for our customers.”

Chetan Hebbalae, co-chair of TIP’s Wi-Fi Solution Group, said: “In launching the first large-scale Wi-Fi 6E commercial deployment utilising TIP’s OpenWiFi for Wi-Fi 6E, and enabling the next generation of Wi-Fi 6E connectivity, Boingo Wireless continues to demonstrate its leadership role in wireless innovation. Like Boingo, we are planning to support convergence architectures, building on top of TIP OpenWiFi’s open source solution interoperability, in support of private wireless, augmented reality and 5G use cases.”

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