Ruckus launches new wireless technology
802.11u is designed to revolutionise mobile phone-Wi-Fi connectivity
Ruckus Wireless has launched new wireless technology, which is designed to revolutionise connecting to Wi-Fi hotspots, in the Middle East.
This new technology is based on a framework of features and specifications, defined within the Wi-Fi Alliance and will be released in June 2012 as the Wi-Fi Certified Passpoint certification programme from the Wi-Fi Alliance.
Using Passpoint-certified devices, connecting to a Wi-Fi hotspot will be automated, allowing Passpoint enabled mobile devices to automatically select a Wi-Fi hotspot based on information advertised by Passpoint-certified Wi-Fi access points.
While roaming, mobile devices can identify hotspots supporting roaming with the user's home service providers.
According to Ruckus Wireless, it is one of the first companies to integrate 802.11u within its Smart Wi-Fi access points, and it has completed interoperability testing with several operators and handset manufacturers around the world.
Support for 802.11u and the technology tested by the Wi-Fi Alliance's Passpoint certification programme will be available as a no-cost software upgrade on Ruckus ZoneFlex access points by the end of 2012.
The Wi-Fi Alliance Hotspot 2.0 Specification that underlies the first phase of the Passpoint programme includes the automation of three traditionally manual processes: discovering and selecting a Wi-Fi network, authenticating the user and device using the internal SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card found in many mobile devices (as well as support for non-SIM devices); and securing the connection of each device using WPA-2 Enterprise encryption and authentication.
Wi-Fi Certified Passpoint equipment is designed to benefit service providers in a number of ways, including accelerating the offload of data from cellular networks to Wi-Fi, and reducing operational costs by providing a single Wi-Fi network that can advertise support for multiple operators.
"Support for Passpoint within mobile devices and infrastructure is essential for making the widespread use of Wi-Fi valuable to carriers and their customers," said Nader Baghdadi, Middle East Regional Sales director for Ruckus Wireless. "By automating and streamlining the process of connecting to a Wi-Fi hotspot, service providers can look to advanced Wi-Fi systems as a viable way to offload traffic and deliver high-bandwidth services - while subscribers will no longer have to face the frustration and aggravation of connecting to Wi-Fi hotspots."