Home Page ContentPress Releases Wireless Broadband Alliance drives industry to Next Generation Hotspots

Wireless Broadband Alliance drives industry to Next Generation Hotspots

by david.nunes


Seamless Hotspot trials and 17 new members announced

at Global Conference in Paris


June 16, 2011 – The Wireless Broadband Alliance (“WBA”), a pioneer in global Wireless Broadband roaming for public Wi-Fi networks, will be hosting the 19th WBA Roundtable Conference and Wi-FI Ecosystem Conference in Paris from 20-22 June 2011. The WBA is being joined by 17 new members The full list of new members, along with quotes, is included in the Notes to Editors, including China Mobile, Aircel, Aptilo Networks, BelAir Networks, iBAHN Corporation, Gowex, Softbank, Time Warner Cable and SMART Communications. 


During the conference, the WBA is launching the Next Generation Hotspot (NGH) Trial involving end-to-end inter-operator testing of the NGH requirements, including cellular-like, secure and seamless auto-authentication and connectivity experience on home and roaming partners’ network. The trial participants include a group of 24 major operators The full list of operators participating in the trial, along with quotes, is included in the Notes to Editors, equipment vendors and roaming Hub providers.


The conference will also provide a unique opportunity for delegates to see and take part in the development of the Next Generation Hotspots (NGH) program – a shared vision amongst WBA members to create solutions that make the user experience on Wi-Fi networks both as secure and as easy to use as 3G. A focus of the ‘Innovations Showcase’, companies will discuss and demonstrate early prototypes and solutions for NGH, focusing on key issues that the WBA aims to address, such as Wi-Fi roaming and interoperability and 3G to Wi-Fi data offload.


165 delegates from over 70 global companies are set to meet at the WBA Roundtable Conference. Participants at the conference will discuss how Wi-Fi operations can be improved in order to be equal to – or better than – current 3G and anticipated 4G services in terms of ease and security of access. How to promote Wi-Fi’s role as a complementary technology to 3G will be another area of debate, along with the growing importance of roaming technology. Increasingly, the development of seamless access services for popular devices such as smartphones and tablets is vital to ensuring the continued success of Wi-Fi.


Chris Bruce, Chair of the WBA and CEO of BT Openzone said: “We are seeing both the growth and evolution of Wi-Fi technology every day, as consumers and businesses look to stay connected both in indoor locations and outside. The WBA brings together organisations that have a vision for how Wi-Fi networks and technology will be in the future and, by discussing key topics and issues at an event such as this, we can work together to take Wi-Fi hotspots to the next generation.”


The WBA’s goal is to drive wireless broadband adoption globally by developing common commercial and technical frameworks for interoperability across networks, technologies and devices. Members jointly develop specifications to deliver, reliable, trustworthy and seamless wireless services. The group now includes a unique mix of leading roaming provider and operators, vendors and other ecosystem partners offering wireless services across Wi-Fi, WiMAX and mobile broadband networks. The event is co-hosted by Orange France.




Martin Dyan

Fishburn Hedges for Wireless Broadband Alliance

+44 207 544 3021


Charlie Howard

Fishburn Hedges for Wireless Broadband Alliance

+44 207 544 3037


List of new WBA member companies


  • Aircel
  • Aptilo Networks
  • BelAir Networks
  • China Mobile Communications Corporation
  • ComAbility
  • Gowex
  • Green Packet Berhad
  • iBAHN Corporation
  • KDDI
  • M800 Limited
  • METEOR Network SAS
  • Softbank Mobile Corp.
  • Spectra ISP Networks Pvt. Ltd.
  • Time Warner Cable
  • Transaction Network Services (TNS)
  • Smart Communications, Inc.
  • Spectrum Interactive (UK) Ltd


Quotations from new WBA member companies


Aptilo Networks

Torbjörn Wård, CEO, Aptilo Networks: “Wireless Broadband Alliance drives best practices to enable Mobile Data Offloading and carrier class Wi-Fi deployments. This is well aligned with our core focus as vendor in this space. Aptilo Networks have joined WBA to take an active part of the further development of these best practices.”



BelAir Networks

Stephen Rayment, Chief Technology Officer, BelAir Networks: “With our focus on Carrier Wi-Fi , BelAir Networks has long supported secure seamless mobility and has always been committed to industry standards, so the Wireless Broadband Alliance’s Next Generation Hotspot program is a great fit for us and will be welcomed by both carriers and Wi-Fi users worldwide.”



Tal Rotem, VP Product and Marketing, ComAbility: “ComAbility has put as a target to promote the emerging Wi-Fi next generation services. We believe that WBA provides a productive environment in which new Wi-Fi related services can be defined, resulting in an improved user experience for Wi-Fi users.”


Greenpacket Berhad

Kelvin Lee, Senior General Manager of Greenpacket said “The convenience and proliferation of Wi-Fi is too appealing to be ignored. As a leading developer of mobile broadband and networking solutions, joining the WBA allows us to come together to drive the improvement of Wi-Fi as a prevalent technology within the wireless industry.”



Mr. Steven Yap, CEO of M800 Limited: “M800’s platform is designed to allow operators to provide cost-effective, reliable and fast wireless data roaming services. As a member of WBA, it is maximize the connections of M800 and the operators with expertise in Wi-Fi enabled services, leveraging the networking and roaming with worldwide members.”


Smart Communications, Inc.

Orlando Vea, Chief Operations Adviser, Smart Communications, Inc. “Smart is happy to rejoin the WBA and actively participate in its programs, particularly the HS2.0 program.”


List of companies participating in WBA’s NGH Trial


  • Aruba Networks
  • AT&T Wireless Services
  • BelAir Networks
  • Boingo Wireless
  • BT Openzone
  • ComAbility
  • Deutsche Telekom AG
  • Intel Corp
  • METEOR Network SAS
  • Meru Networks, Inc.
  • Orange
  • Portugal Telecom (TMN)
  • Ruckus Wireless
  • Syniverse Technologies GmbH
  • True Corporation Public Company Limited (Thailand)


Quotations from companies participating in WBA’s NGH Trial


BT Openzone

Chris Bruce, CEO of BT Openzone said “As a member of both the Wireless Broadband Alliance and the Wi-Fi Alliance BT fully supports the NGH programme and intends to participate in the trial.  BT sees the NGH as an evolution from its roll out of 802.1x functionality in its premium Wi-Fi network this summer which is itself an important step along the way to fulfill BT’s vision of seamless and secure Wi-Fi access.”



Ray Smets, vice president and general manager, Wireless Networking Business Unit, Cisco: “Cisco supports the Wireless Broadband Alliance’s Next Generation Hotspot program to provide the industry with an automatic and secure roaming WiFi experience across global Wi-Fi networks.”


Aruba Networks

Peter Thornycroft, Wireless Engineer, Aruba Network “Aruba networks shares the Wireless Broadband Alliance’s vision of secure and seamless roaming over public Wi-Fi networks.  Aruba is proud to participate in the Next Generation Hotspots Trial.”


Boingo Wireless

Dave Hagan, Pesident and CEO of Boingo Wireless

“With the explosive growth of Wi-Fi enabled smartphones and the rapid acceleration of data usage on those devices, it will become increasingly important to simplify the mobility-to-WiFi transition for end users, especially as operators move to tiered pricing and consumers share a vested interest in keeping data costs down as their usage increases with exciting new cloud services from Apple and Google,” said Dave Hagan, president and CEO of Boingo Wireless. “As a global leader in Wi-Fi roaming and network management, we fully support the NGH initiative to realize a seamless transition between networks to benefit operators and consumers alike.”


Intel Corp

Dr. Necati Canpolat, Sr. Staff Architect , Intel Corp,  “Service Providers around the world are increasingly utilizing Wi-Fi networks and services to deliver compelling new user experiences, generate additional revenue, ease congestion on cellular systems, and increase network coverage,” said Aicha Evans, General Manager of Intel’s Mobile Wireless Group. “Intel is working with industry leaders to enable those new compelling user experiences with a simple, secure, and seamless network solution.”


Meru Networks, Inc

Kamal Anand, Senior Vice President Corporate Strategy, Meru Networks said “Given the tremendous growth in users accessing applications and content over Wi-Fi, Meru Networks supports the Wireless Broadband Alliance’s Next Generation Hotspot initiative that provides the industry with the mechanisms to deliver a uniform and seamless user experience across global Wi-Fi networks.”


True Corporation Public Company Limited (Thailand)

Supoj Mahapan, Group General Manager, International Services Business, True Corporation Public Company Limited (Thailand): “It’s going to be another exciting year ahead for all Wi-Fi and Mobile network operators to see this NGH development moving towards success, especially with the active cooperation with several mobile operators. We could all look forward to the new convenience with security the mobile data user could get from both Wi-Fi and Mobile networks with NGH solution.”


Ruckus Wireless

Steve Martin, VP of Engineering, Ruckus Wireless: “Ruckus Wireless is proud to be participating in the Next Generation Hotspot program sponsored by the WBA. The NGH program is a significant step forward with respect to the convergence of mobile data wireless technologies, encouraging further adoption of Wi-Fi by the carrier segment of the industry with significant benefits to the consumer in terms of convenient network access via carrier operated Wi-Fi networks.”


Syniverse Technologies GmbH

Markus Wenzel, Team Leader – System Architecture and Change Advisory: “Syniverse supports the WBA project Next Generation Hotspot.With this, and other projects and task forces, the WBA is a major driver in the industry, standardizing the Wi-Fi data exchange from AAA to Wi-Fi clearing.”


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 58 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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