WiFi and Hotspot 2.0 announcements are all over at Mobile World Congress. Juniper Research recently estimated that 60 percent of mobile phone traffic will be offloaded to Wi-Fi networks by 2017. Hotspot 2.0 WiFi services are expected to be integrated into many small cells in the coming years.
Hotspot 2.0, using Passpoint-certified devices, enables mobile devices to seamlessly roam across different Wi-Fi hotspots. It supports a SIM card in a phone that enables roaming from the user’s home service providers to different secure sites. More than 400 devices have obtained Passpoint certification, including a wide range of smartphones and tablets.
Some of the WiFi and Hotspot 2.0 announcements at MWC include:
- AT&T is collaborating with a host of other mobile operators and vendors, including Cisco and Accuris Networks to enable mobile roaming at the Fira Gran Via convention grounds. Participating service providers in the demo include Bell Mobility, China Mobile, Korea Telecom, MEO, Mobily, NTT DoCoMo, PCCW-HKT, SK Telecom and True.
- Ruckus Wireless today announced that it has been working with Orange Poland to enable Hotspot 2.0 Wi-Fi services. The new Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi network, deployed throughout the Warsaw Royal Gardens, the largest park in Poland, is also available to customers of other operators. The new Smart Wi-Fi network is based on emerging Hotspot 2.0 technology and is believed to be the first such system operational in Europe.
- Telstra and Ericsson will trial the Ericsson Radio Dot System, a new small cell architecture for use in buildings and venues.
- Huawei will demonstrate full-series indoor/outdoor solutions including the industry’s first wideband outdoor micro station, multi-band and multi-mode indoor LampSite solution, pico stations, and an enterprise application platform.
- NSN’s Flexi Zone small cells have added TD-LTE and extra frequency bands, as well as incorporating Wi-Fi. Nokia Solutions and Networks is demonstrating new approaches to Heterogeneous Networks and Wi-Fi steering. The vendor detailed two developments in Wi-Fi steering that it said would improve load balancing, and enable real-time steering respectively.
- Broadcom introduces the first WiFi 2×2 MIMO Combo Chip for Smartphones. Broadcom says their BCM4354® SoC will enable manufacturers to deliver twice the Wi-Fi performance of 1×1 MIMO devices while improving system power efficiency up to 25 percent.
- Huawei announced a 300 Mbps mobile hotspot, the E5786 MiFi, which uses LTE-Advanced and is the first mobile hotspot device that supports true dual-band WiFi, on both the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz frequency bands at the same time. The Huawei E5786 also supports USB charging of phones and can be charged to full in just three hours.
- Quantenna and Texas Instruments announced solutions for enterprise and pico small cell base stations. These platforms will integrate Quantenna’s QSR1000 802.11ac 4×4 Multi-User Multiple Input Multiple Output (MU-MIMO) chipset and TI’s KeyStone-based TCI6630K2L System-on-Chip (SoC) for enterprise and pico small cells.
- Sequans will display its new AirWire LTE Wi-Fi dongle which will be available in India this year. Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio Infocomm are expanding their 4G LTE network on TD-LTE technology.
- Wilocity today announced the Wil6300 chipset, the world’s first 802.11ad, multi-gigabit Wi-Fi chipset for mobile phones. Wilocity says the 60 GHz band will give phone users 4.6 Gbps interference-free bandwidth and improve network capacity.