Telcos ink partnerships to take Wi-Fi global

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Service providers will be able to offer Wi-Fi to roaming customers after Mobileum and AT&T signed a new partnership to offer the US-based operator’s Wi-Fi Hub service to telcos worldwide.

AT&T’s service comprises millions of hotspots, which allows them to offer global coverage, Mobileum said.

Operators will be able to sell the Wi-Fi service either through their own applications or via Mobileum’s suite of products, which includes a range of roaming and travel solutions.

Mobileum CEO Bobby Srinivasan said that the collaboration would “give service providers the ability to maximise the potential of Wi-Fi around the world, by helping them to discover additional revenues and drive higher customer satisfaction and loyalty”.

Chris Bruce, Director of International Sales and Consulting Services for BT Global Services and co-chair of the Wireless Broadband Alliance, said that bundled Wi-Fi could help operators offer stronger roaming offerings to customers in a competitive environment.

Speaking to Mobile Europe at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Bruce said: “There’s no future in an industry where your smartest customers remember to turn off your product when they go abroad.”

Noting the ‘silent roamers’ who switch off data roaming, he added: “With bundled Wi-Fi, you accept that they will use a mix of different technologies but you keep them.”

Meanwhile, Ruckus Wireless announced a new partnership with Intersection that will see high-speed public Wi-Fi rolled out in urban areas worldwide.

The free connectivity will be supported by advertising, combining Intersection’s platforms – which offer public Wi-Fi and context-aware content – with Ruckus’ connectivity.

Away from the consumer market, Qualcomm Technologies and Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport announced they were conducting field trials to test high-speed wireless download of vehicle sensor information utilising 802.11ad Wi-Fi technology in the 60 GHz band.

The trials see race engineers utilising 5GHz 802.11ac and Multi-gigabit 802.11ad Wi-Fi technology, which operates in the millimeter wave (mmWave) 60GHz band, to gather data directly from the team’s racecar while in, or approaching the garage.

The handover between the two 802.11 modes are handled automatically as radio conditions dictate throughput performance, Qualcomm said.

The goal of the trial is to accelerate how quickly and efficiently data can be pulled from the vehicle, the vendor added.

It said it hoped that the trial would assist in further developing technologies and applications that can be potentially used for safer road vehicles.