The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) announced the world’s first completion of a successful proof-of-concept trial to automatically onboard Wi-Fi client devices to a residential Wi-Fi 6 network, paving the way for the rollout of WBA OpenRoaming across in-home Wi-Fi and wide-area wireless broadband networks.
The trial, which was carried out by leading smart Wi-Fi solutions provider and WBA member, Airties, was carried out in two phases. The first, which covered OpenRoaming settlement-free access, was carried out using Google Pixel 2 and Samsung Galaxy S21 devices. Once the functionality had been enabled on these devices, they were able to automatically connect to the residential guest network using the Google and Samsung account IDs of their owners, instead of having to enter credentials manually.
The second phase demonstrated seamless access to the same residential Wi-Fi network by using a third-party Single Digits ID after first downloading and installing a Wi-Fi profile on the aforementioned mobile phones. As part of the trial, Airties closely monitored and optimized the quality of experience (QoE) to ensure the best possible device performance for users.
The success of this trial means operators will now be able to ensure their subscribers are able to access the internet seamlessly and securely – without having to enter and re-enter login credentials – bridging the gap between cellular and Wi-Fi while maintaining full control of their privacy. A key differentiator for the OpenRoaming standard is that it is not impacted by MAC address rotation within user devices.
Metin Taskin, CTO of Airties, commented, “Our successful completion of this trial with WBA OpenRoaming is a major step forward for frictionless residential Wi-Fi access. For cellular service providers, it will facilitate more seamless and secure mobile offloading, aimed at reducing their network costs and enhancing Internet coverage for their subscribers. For consumers, it removes the hassle of entering login credentials as their devices roam securely between cellular and Wi-Fi networks. WBA continues to be a major driving force in the evolution of wireless broadband, and Airties is proud of our deep and ongoing collaboration to serve operators across the globe.”
Blaz Vavpetic, CTO of Single Digits, added: “Our collaboration with Airties demonstrates Single Digits’ role as an OpenRoaming Broker and is part of an ongoing effort to quantify Quality of Experience for our carrier off-load and venue partners, giving them confidence in their subscriber’s connected experience to Passpoint networks.“
Specifically, the trial took place in Paris, France and Istanbul, Turkey, and involved connecting Airties’ Air 4960 APs and Airties’ cloud proxy servers to the OpenRoaming network. Airties’ collaboration with WBA relied on Airties’ Edge software and Airties Cloud to measure and report on the connected devices, ensuring the QoE was not adversely impacted as the frictionless handover between cellular and OpenRoaming access points was achieved.
Tiago Rodrigues, CEO of WBA, commented: “WBA OpenRoaming is driving seamless Wi-Fi roaming and the convergence of Wi-Fi 6 and 5G. We’re beginning to see entire market segments to open themselves up to the possibilities that lie ahead due to WBA OpenRoaming. Thanks to Airties, these trials have proved another important piece of the importance of OpenRoaming for residential market and bring us one step closer to bridging the gap between Wi-Fi and cellular for a truly connected world.”