updated 07:11 am EDT, Tue June 26, 2012
Wi-Fi Certified Passpoint to be checked by carriers
The Wi-Fi Alliance is starting tests of Wi-Fi Certified Passpoint devices and infrastructure equipment. Passpoint would allow wireless networks to authenticate wireless users based on a SIM or other methods without relying on usernames and passwords, opening the way to carriers offering unlimited data plans that use Wi-Fi hotspots.
The first products to be designated with the Wi-Fi Certified Passpoint label covers most of the big names in the networking industry, with Cisco, Broadcom, Intel, and Qualcomm Atheros topping the bill. Participants in the trials set for later this year include AT&T, Telefonica, China Mobile, and Deutsche Telekom. The Wireless Broadband Alliance suggests that deployments will begin in early 2013, with roaming agreements between carriers and hotspots being key to the technology's survival.
Polling by the Wi-Fi alliance suggests that 74 percent of those surveyed would use more data if they had an unlimited data plan that uses Wi-Fi, with 65 percent willing to pay more per month for such a plan.