Cisco OpenRoaming Technology Entrusts Wireless Broadband Alliance

03/26/2020, by Michael Conney, Network World (adapted by Jean Elyan), Networks, 742 words

The equipment manufacturer Cisco transfers the development of its OpenRoaming technology and the responsibility for its promotion to the Wireless Broadband Alliance consortium created to promote interoperability between operators in the WiFi industry.

Cisco OpenRoaming technology trusted

The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) will now oversee the development and promotion of Cisco OpenRoaming technology, which enables devices to switch from WiFi to cellular networks, including LTE, without disruption of service. OpenRoaming is based on the Passpoint standard (HotSpot 2.0), itself based on the IEEE 802.11u standard for interconnectivity. Cisco hopes that the action of the WBA will generate wide adoption of OpenRoaming by new and existing customers of WiFi networks, identity providers and service providers.

The WBA, which has almost 100 members, brings together a wide variety of players in the sector, including AT&T, Boingo, Broadcom, Cisco, Comcast, Intel, Facebook, Google, HPE Aruba and others. The alliance has taken a number of initiatives, notably on the best way to converge and develop WiFi 6 and 5G standards at the rate of the evolution of these technologies. WiFi detection, which allows motion detection, gesture recognition and biometer measurement using existing WiFi signals and mobile edge computing, is one of the initiatives underway.

Weighty supports

According to Cisco, the adoption of OpenRoaming allows users to benefit from transparent access to participating wireless networks worldwide from a Samsung ID system, a mobile SIM card or its cloud provider. OpenRoaming also brings together trusted identity providers, so that users can automatically join any network managed by a member of the OpenRoaming consortium. Service providers, device manufacturers, cloud identity providers or even trusted members are part of this panel. Boingo Wireless, GlobalReach Technology, Intel, Korea Telekom and others have pledged to support OpenRoaming.

The industry and our customers, both businesses and service providers, are very interested in automated and secure integration across multiple verticals, wrote Matt MacPherson, technical director of Cisco Wireless, in a blog post announcing the transfer. The WBA’s global ecosystem can integrate OpenRoaming into its technologies, regardless of the equipment supplier. According to him, OpenRoaming allows a transparent and secure roaming that can improve the WiFi service in general. As 5G, WiFi 6 and other next-generation wireless technologies become the norm, immersive and bandwidth-hungry applications will become the norm. In order to guarantee access for people on the move to these applications, transparent roaming between networks will become even more necessary, said the Wireless Broadband Alliance.

Also for connected cars

The application of this technology goes beyond smartphones. Businesses are testing OpenRoaming for autonomous and connected vehicles, and business developers are using OpenRoaming and location analysis tools to better understand how customers, consumers, or employees use spaces, said the WBA. . Regarding the connected car sector, Cisco said in February that it had teamed up with Oxbotica, the software publisher for autonomous vehicles, so that it could use OpenRoaming in its platform. For industrial applications where it is the devices – here, autonomous vehicles – and not people, who move in areas covered by WiFi, this technology can allow a simple and automatic connection, equivalent to that well known to network users. mobile, said Cisco. OpenRoaming offers a cost-effective alternative for the autonomous transport of large volumes of data to and from the vehicle, added the equipment manufacturer.

Last October, Cisco announced the first OpenRoaming commercial men test with Canary Wharf, one of the UK’s largest business centers. By combining mobile roaming and WiFi 6 connectivity, OpenRoaming allows devices to automatically connect to WiFi and move seamlessly from one access point to another without the user needing to connect, said the Canary Wharf group in a press release. The joint initiative will also offer wireless speeds up to four times higher by deploying Cisco WiFi 6 hotspots. In addition, through sophisticated location-based analysis, customers will also be able to offer unique services their users.

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OpenRoaming allows a transparent and secure roaming which can improve the WiFi service in general. (Crdit Cisco)