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WBA OpenRoaming opens the door to create one global Wi-Fi network

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NEW DELHI: The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) today invited all organisations in the Wi-Fi ecosystem to join WBA OpenRoamingand become part of a globally available Wi-Fi federation that offers an automatic and secure connection of billions of devices to millions of Wi-Fi networks.

WBA OpenRoaming provides a new global standards-led approach, removing public-guest Wi-Fi connectivity barriers and bringing greater convenience and security to the wireless ecosystem. WBA OpenRoaming removes the need to search for Wi-Fi networks, to repeatedly enter or create login credentials, or to constantly reconnect or re-register to public Wi-Fi.

For organisations and businesses, WBA OpenRoaming provides the opportunity to create new commercial business models and innovative services with speed and simplicity.

Declaring WBA OpenRoaming as “open for business” WBA CEO Tiago Rodrigues said: “Wi-Fi is already arguably the most successful wireless technology of our time, but with these globally agreed standards and policies, we can take public-guest Wi-Fi to another level in terms of ease-of-use and global availability. The WBA OpenRoaming creates an open framework for all types of players to join and develop their Wi-Fi services and create new business opportunities. We invite venues, vendors and operator/identity providers to join WBA OpenRoaming and revolutionise Wi-Fi usage around the world.”

WBA OpenRoaming simplifies Wi-Fi, much like the cellular roaming experience. Companies who join WBA OpenRoaming can allow end users to automatically connect on any Wi-Fi network managed by a federation member. No more SSID-password guessing games, insecure login credentials or reconnecting to public Wi-Fi. From enterprises to coffee shops, concert venues to connected cars, WBA OpenRoaming creates a world where Wi-Fi users move from one network to another without needing to constantly re-register or sign-in.

The pioneering companies – members of WBA – supporting the WBA OpenRoaming standards include: Airmesh, Airties, Aprecomm, American Tower, Aptilo, AT&T, Boingo Wireless, Broadcom Inc, Cisco, Cityroam, Comcast, Commscope, Deutsche Telekom, Eduroam, Eleven Software,GlobalReachTechnology, Google, Hub One, Hughes Systique Corp, Intel Corporation, IT&E, m3connect, Nomosphere, Orange, Purple Wi-Fi, Samsung, Single Digits, Sun Global, Veniam, WifiCoin and Zephyrtel. Together these companies provide Wi-Fi services that reach billions of people and things.

WBA OpenRoaming defines the industry policies and standards that will manage the federation. The WBA OpenRoaming framework and standards are based on the following features:

· Cloud federation, consisting of a global database of networks and identities, dynamic discovery and the Wireless Roaming Intermediary Exchange (WRIX)

· Cyber security, consisting of Public Key Infrastructure and RadSec providing the certificate policy, management and brokerage services

· Network automation, facilitated by an automated roaming consortium framework and policy and Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Passpoint

Companies who join WBA OpenRoaming are included in a federation of identity and network providers. Equipment vendors, identity providers, venues and operators – as well as private and public Wi-Fi networks – can join WBA OpenRoaming and immediately become part of the global ecosystem and help to shape the future of the federation. To join or for more information, visit www.openroaming.org.

Comments from pioneering members of WBA OpenRoaming:

“AirTies is excited to see the progress of OpenRoaming as it will significantly increase ease-of-use for network service providers and consumers alike. AirTies Wi-Fi technology will support fixed and mobile service providers ability to offload their mobile traffic seamlessly to millions of Wi-Fi home networks. Combined with AirTies Wi-Fi 6 portfolio, OpenRoaming will enable fluid mobile-Wi-Fi handover while providing a highly secure quality of service for both mobile and home user,” said Metin Taskin, CTO of AirTies.

“Under the WBA’s leadership, OpenRoaming will make it easier for more locations to offer seamless and secure Passpoint Wi-Fi to their employees and customers,” said JR Wilson, WBA Chairman and AT&T Vice President of Tower Strategy and Roaming.

“As a Wi-Fi Infrastructure Provider supporting Wi-Fi Calling capabilities, American Tower supports the OpenRoaming™ framework. The framework will improve subscriber call initiation security and allows our design team to create an infrastructure with compliant vendors for seamless interoperability,” said Jake Rasweiler, Senior VP Innovation, American Tower.

“WBA OpenRoaming is a monumental step for our industry in the quest for a secure, ubiquitous and seamless Wi-Fi user experience. This initiative will simplify co-operation on Wi-Fi roaming for our 100+ operator customers globally, not only with each other but also with large government funded networks such as WiFi4EU,” said  Paul Mikkelsen, CEO, Aptilo.

“OpenRoaming is a global effort to improve Wi-Fi connectivity by creating an interoperable network of premium hotspots that adhere to strict quality measures. The standards-based framework will expand Wi-Fi offload opportunities for Boingo, enabling us to grow roaming relationships to bring Passpoint® connectivity to more places with more partners,” said Dr. Derek Peterson, WBA Co-Chairman and Boingo Wireless Chief Technology Officer.

“Broadcom’s next-generation Wi-Fi solutions have always been built with the consumer in mind. Wi-Fi 6 products power seamless user experiences across the world and Wi-Fi 6E will further optimize our connected world in 2020 and beyond. The groundbreaking OpenRoaming effort spearheaded by WBA will truly future-proof our networks by providing users with a convenient, accessible and secure Wi-Fi experience,” said Gabriel Desjardins, Director of Product Marketing, Broadcom Inc.

“With WBA OpenRoaming we’re building something that will have a dramatic impact on the service provider space, the enterprise user space and the consumer space. This is a ground-breaking effort that will provide your users, your customers, your passengers, your students, or your employees with the very best possible Wi-Fi connectivity and experience wherever they go – automatically,” said Matt McPherson, Wireless CTO, Cisco

“OpenRoaming has the potential to revolutionize WiFi roaming by offering easy seamless access to WiFi networks around the world. Mobile devices as well as tablets and laptops can be configured by mobile operators and other companies to visit any hotspot on the ground, on boats and in airplanes supporting OpenRoaming. This will satisfy customers and will strengthen wholesale business,” said Dr. Angelos Mavridis, Senior Manager WiFi Roaming, Telekom Global Carrier, Deutsche Telekom.

“Eduroam has been doing federated Wi-Fi roaming since over a decade with many of the building blocks that meanwhile underpin Passpoint®. Now that Passpoint® and OpenRoaming™ provide a coherent vision and technology to enable inter-federation roaming in a scalable way, it is only natural for eduroam to join forces and take this exciting next step as a first-to-market pioneer participant,” said Paul Dekkers, Chair of GÉANT (the Global Eduroam Governance Committee).

“We believe in the power of connectivity and that Wi-Fi access should be simple, seamless, and secure. That’s why we’re excited to be part of the WBA OpenRoaming™ federation—a tangible next step to a world where people can get and stay connected, without hassle,” said Peri Pierone, CEO Eleven Software.

“OpenRoaming will enable enterprises to transform the way they provide Wi-Fi access to customers, employees and guests – seamlessly and securely without the barriers of landing pages and passwords. For public venues this can be a platform to help attract, engage and reward customers and for private enterprise offices this can make registration for Wi-Fi access frictionless removing an unnecessary task from visitor reception staff or for IT staff for employees,” said Chris Bruce, Managing Director, GlobalReach Technology.

“Arthur C Clarke once said that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. With WBA OpenRoaming™ I think we are on the verge of making the Wi-Fi experience more magical for everyone. We’re excited about the potential for OpenRoaming™ to give people all over the world better and easier access to use internet services,” said Raj Gajwani, Director Area 120 Research Lab, Google

“Since we deployed Passpoint® two years ago, it proved to be a great success and it brought great experience for around one million of our users. We are very excited about WBA’s initiative to create a global federation and thus help propose this great service for millions more users in large public venues. In 2024, our goal is to provide a seamless Wi-Fi experience thanks to Passpoint® to visitors from all around the world during Paris Olympic Games,” said Jean-Christophe Budin, Wireless Director, Hub One.

“The OpenRoaming™ initiative by WBA extends the power of Passpoint® technology by uniting the global Wi-Fi networks. It allows for seamless and secure connectivity which is highly desirable among end-users, service providers, and enterprises alike. OpenRoaming™ will open up new avenues for enterprises to discover new business opportunities. Hughes Systique is looking forward to participating in this journey towards achieving “cellular-like” automatic connectivity for the end-users across Wi-Fi networks,” said Ajay Gupta, SVP, Global Business Development, Hughes Systique.

“OpenRoaming will provide virtually seamless hotspot connections to users around the globe and continues the rolling thunder of Wi-Fi innovations following Wi-Fi 6 and upcoming Wi-Fi 6E products. Intel is excited to join the WBA and our industry partners in delivering this world changing technology to a world that relies on connectivity more and more each day,” said Eric McLaughlin, VP Client Computing Group, GM Wireless Solutions Group, Intel Corporation.

“We are very excited to be a part of the OpenRoaming implementation, IT&E is a proponent of seamless, zero-touch provisioning and onboarding for WiFi. Guam and the Northern Marianas being a major tourist destination will greatly benefit from OpenRoaming by allowing our tourist and visitors the ability to seamlessly and securely connect to our WiFi networks and hotspots. We are looking forward to collaborating with the WBA and everyone in the OpenRoaming ecosystem, OpenRoaming is definitely a game-changing wireless technology,” said Mark Badal, CIO, IT&E Guam & CNMI.

“As part of WBA membership, Nomosphere is happy to support the OpenRoaming™ initiative. With this major project, the Wi-Fi worldwide ecosystem is focusing on improving customer experience, and on increasing Wi-Fi networks efficiency. We hope Nomosphere’s 10,000 hotspots will soon join this OpenRoaming community,” said Philippe LE GRAND, Vice President Nomosphere.

“Orange recognises the value of widely available secure and quality Wi-Fi through Passpoint®. By enabling multiple Wi-Fi providers in key locations, such as transportation hubs, municipalities, campuses, stadiums and corporate buildings, to be readily available to roaming subscribers, the WBA OpenRoaming initiative will greatly benefit both the user-experience and business of our mobile service-provider customers.,” said Cedric Gonin, Senior Marketing Director for Mobile Services at Orange International Carriers.

“Purple was established on the basis of making WiFi a pleasure for the end-user, that principle is still at the core of what we do and this new the OpenRoaming™ initiative from the WBA will help further that goal. We look forward to ushering in a new world of Public WiFi usage with the WBA and all the other federation partners,” said Gavin Wheeldon, CEO Purple.

“The technology standards that make OpenRoaming possible, including Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Passpoint® and RadSec, enhance our ability to deliver the seamless, reliable and secure connected user experience our customers are asking for at their venues and for their users. Together they bring us one step closer to true wireless convergence,” said Blaz Vavpetic, CTO at Single Digits.

“Sun Global Broadband is proud to be a member and a Hawaii / Pacific Hub for the Wireless Broadband Alliance OpenRoaming™ federation. Sun Global Broadband is a worldwide leader in macro based super long-range Wi-Fi with mobility. The worldwide federation of Wi-Fi networks provides the platform for Wireless Internet that provides seamless roaming between aggregated Wi-Fi networks. Congratulations to the Wireless Broadband Alliance and the Cisco technology for this great achievement that allows us to link indoor Wi-Fi to outdoor Wi-Fi from Sun Global Broadband,” said Edward Sun, CEO and Chairman, Sun Global Broadband.

“WBA OpenRoaming will enable connected vehicles to access millions of Wi-Fi hotspots around the world. We are excited about this opportunity and we believe that it will be an important step towards realizing our vision of the Internet of Moving Things — a new kind of network where all devices that move form a mesh to make the most out of all wireless interfaces,” said João Barros, Founder & CEO at Veniam.

“It is a great privilege to be part of this game-changing program in its early stages. We are excited to support WBA in delivering a superior Wi-Fi experience to people around the world, a further proof point towards our goal of revolutionising the Telco industry. With ever-increasing smartphone growth and usage, we see a great opportunity in using our Accuris Wi-Fi Offload and Roaming solution to significantly simplify connectivity between networks and help users move seamlessly between networks,” said Andy Berry, EVP Worldwide Sales at ZephyrTel.

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Broadband

Tremendous potential for proliferation of Wi-Fi hotspots in India: TRAI

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NEW DELHI: Tremendous opportunity exists for the rapid proliferation of public Wi-Fi hotspots in India, and the PM WANI initiative can result in a massive scale-up of the internet in rural areas, which will be transformative, Trai Chairman said on Friday.

India needs all kinds of technology to serve its digital ambitions, and the technology-neutral stance will serve as a prime catalyst for the required growth, P D Vaghela, Chairman of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), said.

“There is a tremendous opportunity in India for the proliferation of public Wi-Fi hotspots. PM WANI (PM Wi-Fi Access Network Interface) can result in rapid scale-up of the internet in rural areas, which will be transformative given the low level of penetration (there) compared to urban areas,” he said while speaking at a virtual event organised by industry body Broadband India Forum (BIF).

India’s appetite for data appears to be insatiable, with the country now having over 750 million broadband connections.

“However, the potential for growth is still very high. I think, probably over 500 million more to be connected, especially in rural areas,” he pointed out.

Terming the internet as one of the most powerful socio-economic engines of growth, Vaghela said this is true not only for India but for the rest of the world.

“Wi-Fi 6 and 5G expand opportunities for digitisation across all industries…and enables organisations to be just everywhere, while increasing productivity and offering the best user experience,” he said.

The PM WANI initiative has been a historic step forward, he said, referring to the ambitious programme that aims to fuel broadband internet proliferation in the country through a mesh of public Wi-Fi networks and access points by local Kirana and neighbourhood shops.

“PM WANI system is a best low-cost alternative, which offers a way forward to connect low revenue consumers…,” he noted.

The BIF digital dialogues event also witnessed the release of an industry white paper titled Role and importance of next-generation Wi-Fi technologies in the acceleration of digital transformation’.

Some gaps need to be ironed out for the PM WANI scheme to pick up, the white paper said, flagging the need to create wider awareness about the scheme, its technical design, the utility of Public Wi-Fi services and associated benefits.

“A regulation prescribing ceiling rate with guaranteed QoS (quality of service) may be considered by Trai to ensure that ISPs/TSPs (internet and telecom service providers) do not exercise discriminatory practices in allocating bandwidth and pricing for PDOAs/PDOs,” BIF said summing up key suggestions contained in the white paper.

The government should facilitate easy bank loans or funding from USOF (Universal Service Obligation Fund) for small entrepreneurs to invest in the PDO/PDOA business, it said while calling for suitable modifications in the WANI framework to facilitate roaming.

“Spectrum in both 6 GHz and V band has been delicensed in several countries, to increase capacity and accelerate economic growth. Need to explore releasing these bands in India at the earliest to unlock their economic value through use in Wi-Fi services,” it added.

The government had earlier approved the setting up of public Wi-Fi networks and access points by local Kirana and neighbourhood shops through public data offices that will not involve any licence, fee or registration.

The public Wi-Fi Access Network initiative is aimed at bringing a massive Wi-Fi revolution in the country. The public Wi-Fi networks, under WANI, have an architecture involving multiple players — Public Data Office (PDO), Public Data Office Aggregators (PDOAs) and app providers.

Source: Press Trust of India

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Nokia modernizes Subisu’s optical network for high-speed broadband across Nepal

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NEW DELHI: Nokia today announced that it had been selected by Subisu, a leading service provider in Nepal, to modernize the 1500 kilometers long backbone network spread across East and West Nepal.

In a first-of-its-kind initiative in Nepal, Nokia has deployed its 400G single fiber solution to provide ultra-high-speed broadband to Subisu’s retail and enterprise subscribers.

Nokia’s solution allows Subisu to address the growing bandwidth requirement and break into new market segments. Subisu’s customers will be able to use high-capacity applications and experience an overall improvement in the quality of services.

Nokia 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS) platform offering Photonic Service Engine (PSE) enabled 400G single fiber, bidirectional Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) solution is now deployed across the country. This is the first operation of such a solution anywhere.

Nokia’s 400G single fiber solution significantly improves fiber capacity and helps Subisu enhance network resilience and reach while optimizing capex and reducing opex. The solution allows Subisu to easily scale the network to provide multi-terabits of capacity over a single fiber.

Binaya Saud, CEO, Subisu, said: “We have been working with Nokia for a long time now, and their industry-leading products and solutions are helping us provide best-in-class broadband services to our subscribers. Nokia was the sole vendor for this important project, and its solutions are enabling us to grow our subscriber base and provide a superior experience to our existing customers even as we future-proof our investments.”

Vinish Bawa, Head of Emerging Markets, India, Nokia, said: “Our field-proven 1830 PSS solution is enabling service providers, like Subisu, to meet the growing capacity demand even as they enhance customer experience. We are pleased with the successful and timely completion of this crucial project to modernize Subisu’s optical network, and we look forward to working with them in the future.”

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Jio’s IAX and IEX projects to address region’s data revolution

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NEW DELHI: Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. (Jio), India’s leading 4G and mobile broadband digital service provider, is constructing the largest international submarine cable system centered on India. Jio, in conjunction with several key global partners and world-class submarine cable supplier SubCom, is currently deploying two next generation cables to support the extraordinary growth in data demand across the region.

The India-Asia-Xpress (IAX) system connects India eastbound to Singapore and beyond, while the India-Europe-Xpress (IEX) system connects India westbound to the Middle East and Europe. The systems will seamlessly interconnect as well as connect to the world’s top interexchange points and content hubs for extension of service globally. IAX and IEX will enhance the ability for consumer and enterprise users to access content and cloud services in and out of India.

For the first time in the history of fiber optic submarine telecommunications, these systems place India at the center of the international network map, recognizing India’s increased importance, staggering growth, and the quantum shift in data use since the launch of Jio services in 2016.

These high capacity and high-speed systems will provide more than 200Tbps of capacity spanning over 16,000 kilometers. Employing open system technology and the latest wavelength switched RoADM/branching units ensures rapid upgrade deployment and the ultimate flexibility to add/drop waves across multiple locations.

“Jio is at the forefront of India’s explosive growth in digital services and data consumption. To meet the demands of Streaming Video, Remote Workforce, 5G, IoT, and beyond, Jio is taking a leadership role in the construction of the first of its kind, India-centric IAX and IEX subsea systems,” said Mathew Oommen, President, Reliance Jio.

“Implementing these critical initiatives in the shadow of a global pandemic is a challenge, but the ongoing pandemic has only accelerated the digital transformation and the necessity of high-performance global connectivity for the delivery of a richer experience to enterprises and consumers,” he added.

The IAX system connects India, the world’s fastest growing economy, to Asia Pacific markets with express connectivity from Mumbai and Chennai to Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore. The IEX system extends India’s connectivity to Italy, landing in Savona, and additional landings in the Middle East and North Africa.

Apart from the seamless connection of the IAX and IEX sub-sea systems, the two systems are also connected to the Reliance Jio Global Fiber Network beyond Asia Pacific and Europe, connecting to both the east and west coast of the USA. IAX is expected to be ready for service mid-2023, while IEX will be ready for service in early 2024.

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