Qualcomm Atheros today announced it now supports the Wi-Fi Alliance HotSpot 2.0 Passpoint Release 1 feature set, for more secure and managed Wi-Fi connections.
HotSpot 2.0 enables seamless connectivity between cellular networks and WiFi networks. It enables cellular subscribers to seamlessly roam over publicly-accessed Wi-Fi networks without manual reauthentication. It uses the SIM chip on your smartphone or device and also provides WPA2 security protection
Some key points of the Atheros announcement:
- Qualcomm Atheros says its solutions enable carrier customers to easily offload data traffic from cellular networks to Wi-Fi and leverage roaming agreements and value added services for top-line growth.
- The Atheros WiFi chipsets are fully compliant with the Passpoint Release 1 specifications, supporting auto-discovery and network selection, seamless authentication and secure connections through over-the-air WPA2-enterprise security.
- Atheros solutions that conform to the Passpoint Release 1 specification include the dual-band XSPAN 3-stream 802.11n WLAN networking platform and the WCN3660 1-stream, dual-band 802.11n chip for mobile applications (which pairs with the Qualcomm MSM8960 Snapdragon S4 3G/LTE mobile processor).
- Qualcomm Atheros is an active contributor in WFA Passpoint Release 1 certification activities and works with other vendors in the HotSpot 2.0 ecosystem.
Qualcomm Atheros is collaborating with Cisco Systems, among others, to provide the end-to-end ecosystem to support HotSpot 2.0.
The HotSpot 2.0 Passpoint program has garnered wide industry support from numerous silicon vendors, device makers and operators who worked together to develop the specification in the Wi-Fi Alliance.
The first products to be designated Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Passpoint, and which form the test suite for the certification program, are:
- BelAir 20E
- Broadcom Dualband 11n WiFi and Dual Band 802.11n Access Point
- Cisco CT2500 Series WLAN Controller and LAP1260 Series Access Point
- Intel® Centrino® Advanced-N 6230
- Marvell Plug – 88W8787 802.11 a/b/g/n Reference Design
- MediaTek Hotspot 2.0 Client V1
- Qualcomm Atheros Dual-Band XSPAN™ 3-Stream 802.11n Access Point and Dual-Band XSPAN 2-stream 802.11n
- Ruckus Wireless ZoneFlex 7363 and ZoneDirector 1100
Another solution would be to use the carriers’ own licensed frequencies – with femtocells – but that solution wouldn’t eliminate the “free” competition.
According to a report by In-Stat Research entitled “Wi-Fi Hotspots: the Mobile Operator’s 3G Offload Alternative,” worldwide hotspot venues are projected to increase to over 1.2 million venues in 2015 from under 421,000 in 2010. Usage will follow similar growth, increasing from four billion connects in 2010 to 120 billion connects by 2015.