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WBA assumes control of OpenRoaming standard

By , ITWeb
Africa , 20 Mar 2020
WBA will take full control of the development, promotion and administration of global wireless industry standard.
WBA will take full control of the development, promotion and administration of global wireless industry standard.

The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) has announced its intention to take over ownership and management of OpenRoaming as a global wireless industry standard.

According to a statement released by the organisation, the move is designed to facilitate the broad adoption of OpenRoaming by new and existing Wi-Fi Networks, service providers and other technology partners across the global Wi-Fi ecosystem.

WBA will take full control of the development, promotion and administration of OpenRoaming.

OpenRoaming, a technology for seamless Wi-Fi onboarding developed by Cisco, is built upon a set of standards and guidelines developed by the WBA and Wi-Fi Alliance and now adopted as an industry wide initiative led by the WBA.

OpenRoaming has seen tremendous growth in the past year and is expected to play a crucial role in delivering great mobile experiences and ushering in a new era of mobile applications.

Announcing the move, WBA CEO, Tiago Rodrigues said: “OpenRoaming now becomes an open standard, creating a world where Wi-Fi users will be able to move seamlessly from one Wi-Fi network to another without re-registering or signing in. As a global wireless industry standard, WBA OpenRoaming will improve Wi-Fi services and availability, making life easier for users, and more efficient for the global mobile and Wi-Fi ecosystem.

“OpenRoaming is now open for business,” he added, “and I call on anyone with a Wi-Fi network, private or public, coffee shop or sports stadia or any other type of venue, to join our open ecosystem in order for the service they offer to their users to be automatic, secure, and interoperable, making their networks available to a wider audience.”

OpenRoaming adheres to Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Passpoint® and Wireless Roaming Intermediary Exchange (WRIX) standards. It helps bridge the gap between Wi-Fi and cellular networks and allows users to seamlessly and securely roam between Wi-Fi networks without the use of splash pages or sign-in screens.

“To do so, OpenRoaming brings together a federation of trusted identity providers, allowing users to join any network managed by a federation member. The network is able to automatically authenticate devices by using established identity providers, such as a service provider, device manufacturer, cloud ID, or even loyalty memberships. Industry leaders including Boingo Wireless, Cisco, GlobalReach Technology, Intel®, Korea Telekom, and others have pledged support for OpenRoaming,” according to the WBA.

Matt MacPherson, Wireless CTO, Cisco “There is considerable pull from the industry and our customers, both enterprise and service provider, to automate secure onboarding across multiple verticals. We knew OpenRoaming would be a game-changing wireless technology, but the support from across the industry has even surpassed our expectations. OpenRoaming is vital to unlocking the potential of wireless communications. Cisco has been proud to lead the OpenRoaming efforts, but we believe strongly that the WBA is the right organisation to steward, with neutrality and confidence, such an important industry initiative.”

As a result of this initiative, WBA’s global ecosystem can now integrate OpenRoaming into its technologies, regardless of equipment provider.

As 5G, Wi-Fi 6 and other next generation wireless technologies take hold, immersive and bandwidth-intensive applications will become the norm. In order to ensure that those applications are available as people are on the move, seamless roaming between networks will become even more be necessary.

Founded in 2003, WBA’s mission is to enable collaboration between service providers, technology companies and organisations to achieve that vision. WBA undertakes programs and activities to address business and technical issues, as well as opportunities, for member companies.

WBA work areas include advocacy, industry guidelines, trials and certification.

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