Hotspot 2.0 (Passpoint)

The cellular industry is moving swiftly towards the adoption of Hotspot 2.0 (also known as Passpoint), creating new opportunities for wireless equipment manufacturers and software vendors. Hotspot 2.0 is built on top of existing (and some new) standards like 802.11u, WPA, EAP, GAS and ANQP. HSC is working with many equipment providers and software vendors to implement (or upgrade) their solutions to support Hotspot features. Our end-to-end expertise in WLAN handover and offload has benefitted many customers across Hotspot ecosystem to achieve faster time to market.

HSC is focused on developing strong competence in WLAN domain and has extensive experience in implementing software for WLAN applications, end-points and gateways. Aside from our work with WLAN gateway and end-point vendors, HSC has also developed solutions that have helped telecom operators implement WiFi based handover and offload solutions, integrating these solutions in operators OSS and policy systems. These include:

  • Implementation of WiFi SON algorithms for efficient power management of WiFi nodes through automatic channel selection, power level setting and cooperative beamforming
  • WiFi direct and WiFi mesh software development
  • Implementation of LTE-WiFi inter-RAT solution
  • Implementation of connection manager applications for mobile OS (iOS/Android/Windows)
  • Design and development of WLAN gateways and VPN routers to incorporate discovery, policy and security mechanisms
  • Implementation of certificate based authentication system for wireless nodes (802.1x support and Radius server integration)
  • WiFi network QoS analysers (SNR measurement and TCP throughput analysis)
  • Feature testing and performance testing of 802.11 b/g/n/a mode

Why We Need Hotspot 2.0

Remember the old days of connecting to a WiFi network at an airport lounge and the hassle that came along with it? You’d start with finding a WiFi network, then connecting to the one with maximum signal strength (hoping that the signal strength is a reliable metric), pay for the hourly or daily contract, and most importantly enter the username/password combination of the account. We then repeated the same process for every new location’s WiFi network that we connected to. Now, compare this to cellular roaming where our phones connect (and re-connect) multiple times between different network providers and network types without our intervention. Much easier isn’t it?

Today’s continuing exponential increase in data consumption is pushing cellular networks to their limits, resulting in the growing interest from cellular operators to converge and cooperate with WiFi networks for data offloading. However, it is critical that the data offloading bring the same type of roaming and handover experience which mobile subscribers are used to.

Hotspot 2.0, or Passpoint, is an industry initiative that aims to provide a cellular-like roaming experience in the WiFi domain. It would simplify and automate access to public WiFi networks by allowing endpoints to automatically discover and join a network, providing cellular grade security for the end user. Hotspot 2.0 makes network access at a WiFi hotspot both as easy and as secure as cellular network access.

For the service provider, Passpoint brings the opportunity to increase revenue via improved subscriber satisfaction, optimize operations by maximizing the use of WiFi for data services, enhance value with subscription-based provisioning, and further enabling of services through roaming agreements.

(Looking for something different? Head over to our radio and wireless engineering page for more information on our technical skill areas and the industries we work with.)

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