Mobile networks are already heavily congested by data traffic and the operators are looking at Wi-Fi as a strategic option to increase capacity and network densification. Cable and fixed-line operators are taking advantage of their backhaul capabilities to rapidly build-out an extensive Wi-Fi footprint.
Steve Glapa, Senior Director of Marketing at Ruckus Wireless, recognises the rapid increase of Wi-Fi hotspots proliferating public areas in the UK, and how interoperability will soon allow end-users to roam seamlessly between these distinct networks.
Hotspot 2.0 will greatly enhance the opportunities for Wi-Fi operators to monetise their networks through roaming arrangements with other providers. These providers can include MSOs, mobile and fixed-line operators, and a wide variety of enterprises. This also queues up the very important subject of settlements, which are used to make sure all operators (mobile or fixed) get paid for services rendered, if appropriate. For example, a mobile operator that deploys a Wi-Fi network in a stadium can now monetise that asset by allowing subscribers of other operators to roam onto that network.
The net result of Hotspot 2.0 for the mobile operator is much greater network densification than could be achieved by building out a network of APs on their own and a much better experience for the subscriber.
Samsung launched the first Hotspot 2.0 capable device with the launch of the Galaxy S4. With the release of iOS 7, Apple now has approximately 50 or 60 million new Hotspot 2.0-capable mobile devices that have appeared almost overnight. It’s this growing momentum that’s behind some of the recent operator announcements of open trials of Hotspot 2.0 on their networks.
Ruckus is working with the iOS 7 Hotspot 2.0 implementation and has successfully tested iOS devices using EAP-SIM, EAP-TLS, and EAP-TTLS with both our ZoneFlex and SmartCell architectures.