Proximus brings EAP tech to its hotspot network

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Proximus is bringing new features to its Wi-Fi network in Belgium, allowing users automatic access based on their SIM card. 

Customers can connect to 930,000 Wi-Fi hotspots across the country and five million access points around the world. From next month, Proximus customers will connect seamlessly, thanks to the Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP) technology on the operator's SIM card.

Proximus said EAP is present in around 70 percent of smartphones and all new iOS, Android and Windows Mobile 8.1 handsets. Any EAP-SIM gives consumers automatic access, without them having to log in with a password.

The technology was trialled in the Ghent area this summer, with customers testing EAP across 10,000 hotspots. Proximus said it will roll out EAP access to 700,000 hotspots next month, with the rest of its network to follow during the first half of 2015.

The move was first revealed by Mobile Europe in its June/July 2014 issue. CTO Geert Standaert said it was a means to deal with booming data usage by its customers.

He said: "After implementation of all of these steps, customers will have a much better experience, as the best possible connectivity will be brought in a technology agnostic way to the device."

Customers with a mobile subscription are automatically connected to the Wi-Fi network. In addition, hotspot access is free to Proximus Internet Everywhere and Office&Go customers, who can activate access through a MyProximus app. 

The operator is also bringing more bandwidth to its Wi-Fi network from next month, offering its customers a quicker and more stable connection.

Proximus parent Belgacom launched its Internet Everywhere Wi-Fi network in November 2011, in partnership with Fon. At that time there were 100,000 hotspots across the country and five million globally.

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