The Wi-Fi Alliance, a nonprofit industry association organization aimed at spreading Wi-Fi technology, announced it has developed a standard for Wi-Fi certification.
The standard, formalized by service providers and device manufacturers, will ensure there is a testing program that addresses authentication and provision of service for public Wi-Fi networks. Essentially, the program will allow for all Wi-Fi enabled devices to easily find and access secure public networks.
Ensuring end users can easily access hotspot networks from various providers is a win for subscribers, service providers and device makers alike, Kelly Davis-Felner, marketing director of the Wi-Fi Alliance, said in a statement. We envision an automated, cellular-like experience for Wi-Fi users around the world in security-protected service provider hotspots.
Part of the reason for the initiative is to relieve the traffic on mobile carriers, whose data networks get tied up with frequent usage from smartphones. The Wi-Fi Alliance's standard will ensure an easy handoff from these cellular networks to Wi-Fi. Over the next year, the Wi-Fi Alliance says data volume over cellular networks will nearly double from 2011 to 2012, reaching 4.56 million terabytes. In order to relieve this data volume, carriers are expanding Wi-Fi deployment plans.
We are proud to participate in the Wi-Fi Alliance hotspot certification initiative, Andrew Bocking, vice president of handheld software product management at Research In Motion said in a statement. The program will provide users with a simpler and more standardized way to discover, subscribe and securely connect to hotspots around the world, than is possible today.
The initiative will look to streamline the process for users to access a Wi-Fi hotspot. This means establishing an account, eliminating steps and driving a common provisioning methodology across vendors. It also means automatic access based on certain credentials, such as a SIM card.