WBA OpenRoaming passes WiFi 6 proof-of-concept test

June 24, 2021
WBA OpenRoaming is a roaming federation service and open connectivity framework designed to enable automatic and secure Wi-Fi connectivity.

The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) says that it collaborated with alliance member Airties on a successful proof-of-concept trial that saw the automatic onboarding of WiFi client devices to a residential WiFi 6 network. The success of the endeavor demonstrates the near-term readiness of the WBA OpenRoaming concept for roll-out across in-home WiFi and wide-area wireless broadband networks, the WBA asserts.

WBA OpenRoaming is a roaming federation service and open connectivity framework designed to enable automatic and secure Wi-Fi connectivity. Its goal is to make access to wireless services, both WiFi and cellular, easy, seamless, and secure for users. The fact that the performance of OpenRoaming standard is not affected MAC address rotation within user devices is a key differentiator, the WBA claims.

The recent trial comprised a pair of phases. The first covered OpenRoaming settlement-free access and leveraged Google Pixel 2 and Samsung Galaxy S21 devices with the necessary functionality enabled. The trial showed the ability of these devices to automatically connect to the residential guest network using their owners’ account IDs, rather than having to enter credentials manually.

The second phase saw the phones access the same residential WiFi network by using a third-party Single Digits ID after first downloading and installing a WiFi profile.

In each instance Airties monitored and optimized the quality of experience (QoE) via Airties’ Edge software and Airties Cloud. The trial took place in Paris, France, and Istanbul, Turkey, and involved connecting Airties’ Air 4960 APs and cloud proxy servers to the OpenRoaming network.

The trial’s success demonstrates that operators can use WBA OpenRoaming to enable secure access without making users enter and re-enter login credentials, according to the group. “WBA OpenRoaming is driving seamless WiFi roaming and the convergence of WiFi 6 and 5G. We’re beginning to see entire market segments to open themselves up to the possibilities that lie ahead due to WBA OpenRoaming,” stated Tiago Rodrigues, CEO of WBA. “Thanks to Airties, these trials have proved another important piece of the importance of OpenRoaming for residential market and bring us one step closer to bridging the gap between WiFi and cellular for a truly connected world.”

“Our successful completion of this trial with WBA OpenRoaming is a major step forward for frictionless residential WiFi access,” added Metin Taskin, CTO of Airties. “For cellular service providers, it will facilitate more seamless and secure mobile offloading, aimed at reducing their network costs and enhancing Internet coverage for their subscribers. For consumers, it removes the hassle of entering login credentials as their devices roam securely between cellular and WiFi networks. WBA continues to be a major driving force in the evolution of wireless broadband, and Airties is proud of our deep and ongoing collaboration to serve operators across the globe.”

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