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The Wi-Fi Alliance has begun vetting mobile devices and network equipment for its Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Passpoint program, the wireless industry group announced Tuesday. Hailed as a “major milestone” by the Wi-Fi Alliance in its press release, this latest development brings us a step closer to a world where mobile devices will automatically connect to access points—securely at that.
The first products to be designated Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Passpoint are those that will form the program’s test suite. The list includes wireless network gear from BelAir, Broadcom, Cisco, Intel, Marvell, MediaTek, Qualcomm and Ruckus Wireless.
“For most users, Passpoint means that there will be no need for manual intervention when entering a hotspot running on Passpoint equipment with a Passpoint mobile device,” reads the Wi-FI CERTIFIED Passpoint program FAQ. “Automatic detection and secured connection will occur provided the user is a subscriber of the entity running the hotspot or is a subscriber of an entity that has a roaming relationship with the entity running the hotspot.”
“Passpoint devices use industry-agreed uniform mechanisms for discovering and creating secured connections to hotspots. This allows a subscriber to experience seamless Wi-Fi connectivity to a hotspot anywhere in the world his provider covers through roaming agreements.”
Service providers are expected to begin deploying this technology sometime next year.