Devicescape says it has now created the largest virtualized carrier Wi-Fi network in the world — now at 20 million hotspots and growing.
Devicescape maintains a crowdsourced database of open Wi-Fi access points, called the Curated Virtual Network, and supplies connection management software that allows phones to seamlessly link to them.
Devicescape has some 19 million of its 20 million hotspots in the United States. San Francisco has 30,000 Devicescape hotspots, making it one of the biggest wireless data networks in the Bay Area.
Devicescape sells access to the network to carriers and ISPs, explains GigaOm.
Cricket, C Spire, U.S. Cellular, Republic Wireless, T-Mobile’s MetroPCS group and Bouygues Telecom in France all use the Devicescape network while Microsoft and Intel have begun integrating Devicescape’s software into Windows Phone 8 and Ultrabooks.
Carrier installed “hetnets”, or hetrogenious networks, will be free (for subscribers). They use a phone’s SIM card for authenication with WiFi Hotspot 2.0 technology. Hotspot 2.0 is based on the IEEE 802.11u standard, which is a new set of protocols to enable cellular-like roaming.
“Our objective for 2014 is that we won’t do any small cell or in-building systems that don’t include Wi-Fi,” said John Donovan, VP, AT&T Technology and Network Operations. AT&T will deploy more than 40,000 small cells throughout their service footprint. According to a new report by In-Stat Research, 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.