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OpenRoaming Surpasses 1 Million Global Hotspots as WBA Launches OpenRoaming Release 3

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Consumers & Businesses Benefitting From Automatic, Secure, Private & Carrier-Grade Wi-Fi Across Offices, University Campuses, Arenas, Airports, Hospitals and More

London, UK, May 25th, 2022: The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) today announced that the number of OpenRoaming™ hotspots has passed 1 million worldwide. This milestone is the latest example of WBA OpenRoaming’s success in providing Wi-Fi users seamless and automatic network access, enterprise-grade security and — with Wi-Fi 6 & 6E— a carrier-grade Wi-Fi experience across multiple locations.

WBA also announced Release 3 of OpenRoaming, launched today, which will make the business and commercial aspects of roaming easier than ever before and importantly, cut back on hundreds of hours of legal and administrative time when establishing roaming settlement agreements.

OpenRoaming – 1m Global Hotspots
The 1 million OpenRoaming hotspots span a wide variety of venues, including airports, universities, stadiums/arenas, office buildings and municipalities. Examples include San Jose State University, Fira Barcelona Gran Via, Canary Wharf, London Stadium, Live Nation BottleRock Festival, Brazil’s São Paulo/Guarulhos International Airport and various European municipalities and tourist destinations enabled by Boingo, Cisco, CommScope, Extreme Networks and other members of the federation. A recent proof of concept deployment by WBA member, Airties, to automatically onboard Wi-Fi client devices to a residential Wi-Fi 6 network also paves the way for the rollout of OpenRoaming across in-home Wi-Fi networks.

WBA OpenRoaming enables enterprises, device OEMs, service providers and others to offer business users and consumers automatic, secure, friction-free access to Wi-Fi. It offers flexibility to support a variety of biz models and quality of service suitable for their customers. Launched in May 2020, the OpenRoaming platform was developed as a global solution based on a common set of standards to bridge the gap between cellular and Wi-Fi, offering users frictionless connectivity as users roam between guest Wi-Fi networks and public Wi-Fi hotspots, as well as from cellular to Wi-Fi.

OpenRoaming enables venues to get their patrons connected seamlessly and quickly. It removes hurdles to get users onboarded and increases opportunities for engagement. The OpenRoaming standard frees users from the need to constantly re-register or re-enter log-in credentials and provides performance guarantees and quality of experience (QoE) capabilities as users roam between different public/private Wi-Fi realms.

OpenRoaming also helps enterprises ensure a gold standard of privacy and establish a high bar of security. It ensures a strong bar of security as a baseline. This is a major benefit for users and enterprises alike and an improvement from connecting via open and unsecure networks. In an era of hybrid work/play culture, secure Wi-Fi networks are paramount to combating the growing threat of hacks, scams and espionage. For example, all 24 Adventist Health hospital campuses now use OpenRoaming so staff and visitors can connect seamlessly and securely to the Wi-Fi network without additional training or needing to enter login credentials. This saves doctors and nurses valuable time and ensures that staff, patient and visitor data goes over a secure, private Wi-Fi connection.

OpenRoaming - Release 3
Release 3 includes a significant improvement on the legal and commercial framework providing the ability to implement a new templated approach, making commercial arrangements between federation members simpler and easy to scale. Dynamic settlement capabilities make it possible for rate variations to be varied at peak times.

In addition, Release 3 has been enhanced to include automated tools, reporting and API’s to significantly reduce the overhead for management and administration of an OpenRoaming network, while providing an online portal for federation members to self-serve. Enhanced Identity Proofing has also been enabled so that identity providers are able to meet regulatory and legislative requirements as well as corporate and business needs.

Tiago Rodrigues, CEO of the Wireless Broadband Alliance, said: “In just 18 months, WBA OpenRoaming has already surpassed 1 million hotspots worldwide. That’s a major milestone — one that highlights how quickly the marketplace has recognized the benefits for network operators, infrastructure vendors, device OEMs and end users. It also reflects demand driven by the emergence of private 5G networks requiring simple roaming between cellular and Wi-Fi.

“But this milestone is just the beginning. We expect to see even more types of locations adopt WBA OpenRoaming, including hotels, cafés, trains, planes and connected cars. In fact, in our most recent cross-industry survey, 40% of businesses said they have implemented Passpoint/OpenRoaming or plan to do so before the end of this year. Wherever you work, live and play, OpenRoaming will be there.”

OpenRoaming has been adopted by most major Wi-Fi equipment vendors and device OEMs. Federation members include Adentro, Airties, Boingo, Broadcom, Cisco, Cityroam, Cloud4WI, Commscope, eduroam, Enea, Extreme Networks, GlobalReach, Intel, Kyrio, Samsung, Single Digits, and many others amongst the growing eco-system.

Further developments on OpenRoaming will be announced this year with the next release of the standard.

For more information about WBA OpenRoaming, visit https://wballiance.com/openroaming.

WBA MEMBER QUOTES
David Coleman, Director of Wireless in the office of the CTO, Extreme Networks said: “Enabling 5G and Wi-Fi networks to work together is necessary to support the flexible ways people want to work, learn and experience the world. OpenRoaming brings us one step closer to being able to deliver connectivity that is always available, no matter where the user is located. Surpassing a million hotspots worldwide is an achievement to be proud of, and we look forward to continuing to support the WBA’s global efforts.”

Dr. Derek Peterson, Chief Technology Officer, Boingo Wireless and co-chair of the WBA board said: “Boingo launched the world’s first airport Wi-Fi 6 network with OpenRoaming in 2021 at Brazil’s São Paulo/Guarulhos International Airport. Since this landmark deployment, OpenRoaming has made tremendous progress and Boingo applauds the WBA for its commitment to advancing converged Wi-Fi solutions that transform the simplicity of getting online.”

Matt MacPherson, Wireless CTO, Cisco said: “OpenRoaming is game-changing technology. It was designed to solve a major problem in our industry - seamless and secure onboarding – but has since grown to play a fundamental role in the vision we have of Wi-Fi and Cellular networks moving forward. By reaching one million hotpsots worldwide, and also introducing Release 3 to remove barriers to adoption, OpenRoaming is cementing its place as a foundational piece of wireless technology.”

Eric McLaughlin, Vice President, Client Computing Group, General Manager Wireless Solutions Group at Intel Corporation said: “Reaching the first million global hotspot is an important milestone on the way to ubiquitous scaling of OpenRoaming. OpenRoaming enables seamless connectivity across Wi-Fi realms which is key enhancement to the user experience of a PC device and is especially important in an increasing hybrid world where people work, interact and play from anywhere. Intel is fully committed to drive improved connectivity through its latest Wi-Fi 6E portfolio and support for OpenRoaming and eager to partner with the ecosystem for its enablement, adoption and expansion.”

Bart Giordano, SVP and GM at Ruckus Networks said "Ruckus Networks has a long history of industry leadership in Wi-Fi Roaming. OpenRoaming crossing the first million global hotspots mark is a testament to the fact that there is a pent-up demand for delivering an amazing end user experience via secure and seamless Wi-Fi connectivity across multiple locations. With our industry-leading Wi-Fi infrastructure portfolio, we are committed to making this secure and seamless Wi-Fi connectivity even more pervasive in the future."

JM Choi, VP and Head of Connectivity R&D Group at Mobile eXperience Business, Samsung Electronics said: "We’re delighted that the tremendous progress of OpenRoaming Hotspots can change Galaxy user's connected experience. With a Samsung account and an eligible device, a Galaxy user can enjoy the OpenRoaming network simply, securely and rapidly. We are very honoured to celebrate this milestone for the OpenRoaming service, and we look forward to continuing our collaborative relationship with WBA for OpenRoaming's development and expansion.”

About the Wireless Broadband Alliance
Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) is the global organization that connects people with the latest Wi-Fi initiatives. Founded in 2003, the vision of the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) is to drive seamless, interoperable service experiences via Wi-Fi within the global wireless ecosystem. WBA’s mission is to enable collaboration between service providers, technology companies, cities, regulators and organizations to achieve that vision. WBA’s membership is comprised of major operators, identity providers and leading technology companies across the Wi-Fi ecosystem with the shared vision.

WBA undertakes programs and activities to address business and technical issues, as well as opportunities, for member companies. WBA work areas include standards development, industry guidelines, trials, certification and advocacy. Its key programs include NextGen Wi-Fi, OpenRoaming, 5G, IoT, Testing & Interoperability and Policy & Regulatory Affairs, with member-led Work Groups dedicated to resolving standards and technical issues to promote end-to-end services and accelerate business opportunities.

The WBA Board includes Airties, AT&T, Boingo Wireless, Broadcom, BT, Cisco Systems, Comcast, Deutsche Telekom AG, Google, Intel and Viasat. For the complete list of current WBA members, click here: https://wballiance.com/join-us/current-members/

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