WBA aims to boost Wi-Fi roaming with “premier” operators

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The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) has updated its Interoperability Compliance Program in a bid to accelerate the deployment and simplify the management of Wi-Fi roaming agreements.

The Premier-Plus Carrier Wi-Fi category is a new tier in the industry body’s ICP, which advocates the adoption of a common set of requirements and procedures needed for the effective management of Wi-Fi roaming agreements.

The ICP offers different support levels to operators based on their network capabilities.

The new category applies to operators who support the requirements for carrier Wi-Fi that delivers robust security, exceptional quality of service and excellent customer support for a carrier-grade user experience, the WBA said.

For example, they must support the latest in session security and encryption to support the most sophisticated roaming agreements and technical approaches.

According to ABI Research, carrier Wi-Fi unit shipments are forecast to hit almost two million this year, despite the increasing popularity of LTE-U projects.

WBA Chief Executive Shrikant Shenwai commented: “The ICP initiative has always been focused on streamlining the way our members accelerate their Wi-Fi roaming deployments.

“This new advancement in the program builds on the existing WRIX framework for Wi-Fi roaming to support a more robust set of carrier-grade best practices between potential partners.”

A WBA-commissioned survey from the end of last year found that that 56.7 percent of operator were more confident about investing in public Wi-Fi than they were in 2013, an all-time high.

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