Light Reading
AT&T says it's counting on next-generation hotspot technology to support new WiFi services and enhance its multimode small cell plans.

AT&T: Hotspot 2.0 Integral to Multimode Small Cells

Sarah Thomas
2/26/2014
50%
50%

BARCELONA -- Mobile World Congress -- AT&T sees Hotspot 2.0 as an enabler of new WiFi services and an integral part of its multimode small cell strategy, according to its head of network planning.

Speaking at the Wireless Broadband Alliance 's Carrier WiFi conference, collocated with MWC, Kris Rinne, senior vice president of network at AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), expounded on AT&T's future plans for WiFi, including those for the emerging standard Hotspot 2.0. (See CTIA: AT&T Works on Wi-Fi Integration.)

WiFi, Why Not?
Kris Rinne, AT&T SVP of network and product planning, explains why the carrier is banking on WiFi in a 4G world.
Kris Rinne, AT&T SVP of network and product planning, explains why the carrier is banking on WiFi in a 4G world.

Hotspot 2.0, also known as Passpoint by the Wi-Fi Alliance (or next-generation hotspot by the type of people who say next-generation), is a technology that automatically connects users to supported WiFi networks without the need to log in or enter credentials. It's been in the works for two years now, but is finally gaining some traction with wireless operators. (See WiFi Roaming: The Technical Considerations and Boingo Expands Hotspot 2.0 to 21 Airports.)

Rinne said AT&T will use Hotspot 2.0 to bring new services across its existing WiFi infrastructure, although she didn't elaborate on what those services might entail. The carrier is trialing the authentication protocol here at the show with attendees on compatible iPhones or Androids, and it plans to include it in its future multimode small cells. (See Carrier WiFi: The Handoff Tradeoff.)

"We've been focused on UMTS/HSPA small cells for enterprise and venue locations, but we are beginning to start testing multi-standard capabilities to have the same box support LTE, multiple bands, and WIFi with Hotspot 2.0 integration," she told attendees. (See AT&T: Multimode Small Cells by Early 2015.)

AT&T is clearly betting big on multimode small cells and has said in the past that all of its future small cells will include WiFi, but Rinne also made it clear that it's looking at each particular location individually. If an enterprise already had a private WiFi network up and running, it might consider a cellular solution. Intelligent network selection will also take into account clients on the device, DFS (Dynamic Frequency Selection) capabilities, and security, she said. (See WiFi: Small Cells' Trojan Horse? and MWC 2014: Single-Mode 4G Small Cells Ahoy?)

"We are in the very, very early stages in how we look at this and integrate it," Rinne said of the different networks. "There's lots going on in the standards areas in terms of driving those different options."

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(10)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
2/27/2014 | 6:11:41 PM
Re: Hotspot 2.0 Trial
So Hotspot 2.0 would be something that consumers would get automatically when their Android, iOS, Windows, or MacOS updates?
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
2/27/2014 | 9:39:41 AM
Re: One more piece of very large puzzle
Hypothetically, your bill should be lower because you are on WiFi much more often.
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
2/27/2014 | 9:39:10 AM
Re: Hotspot 2.0 Trial
It can be a software update pushed over-the-air. It's still a little clunky, but Cisco tells me they're working on policy for it now, so it'll improve.
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
2/26/2014 | 6:08:51 PM
Re: Hotspot 2.0 Trial
Is this something that consumers and carriers can implement in software, or does this require a hardware upgrade?
danielcawrey
50%
50%
danielcawrey,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/26/2014 | 3:41:52 PM
Re: One more piece of very large puzzle
This idea sounds really great in theory. Everyone who constantly is churning data will want this. I say in theory for now because it seems like this is still a ways out. But I for one would love to be able to have seemless wifi for my devices.

I do wonder how much that is going to cost me - will my bill be even higher than it is right now for this?
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
2/26/2014 | 10:49:16 AM
Re: One more piece of very large puzzle
Sorry, I meant *own as in you get automically onloaded to the operators WiFi networks, not third parties, but you should also be able to do it on those networks with which an operator has a roaming deal. When I landed in Spain, my phone automatically went on to AT&T's roaming partner here for cellular. The same thing would happen on WiFi under Hotspot 2.0 -- no choosing the network, no password entering.
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
2/26/2014 | 10:43:01 AM
Re: One more piece of very large puzzle
If you are automatically signed onto WiFi networks that aren't your carrier's, how is that different from roaing?  Unless you only get automatically authenticated onto your operator's WiFi network, which seems to me should be able to happen without any special intervention.

Sorry if I'm being thick on this. 
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
2/26/2014 | 10:40:37 AM
Re: One more piece of very large puzzle
No, that still requires business deals between operators. There is a ton of hype around Hotspot 2.0, but it still seems quite limited to me (and I have another post on that coming soon). Basically, it enables seamless authentication for operators on WiFi footprints, which for consumers means they automatically get on the network with no intervention. For operators, it means more of their customers are likely to use their WiFi by improving the service for them. Maybe they could do location services based on knowing where the AP is too.
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
2/26/2014 | 10:33:53 AM
One more piece of very large puzzle
The small cell/WiFi discussion is always interesting but often a bit confusing and always seems to include a reference to "early days.

Does Hotspot 2.0 enable real WiFi roaming and if so, what are the business arrangements? 
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
2/26/2014 | 10:29:17 AM
Hotspot 2.0 Trial
Has anyone been taking part in the Hotspot 2.0 trial this week? I have only started recently. Took a bit to set up, but appears to be work as advertised. I'd love some feedback if anyone else has experience with it.
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Dr. Dong Sun Talks About Carriers' Digital Transformation & Huawei’s Telco OS

1|29|15   |   6:28   |   (0) comments


Dr. Dong Sun, Chief Architect of Digital Transformation Solutions at Huawei, discusses how telecom operators can become digital ecosystem enablers and deliver optimal user experiences that are in real-time, on-demand, all-online, DIY and social (ROADS).
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Chief Network Architect Talks about Network Experience & Operators’ Strategies

1|29|15   |   3:39   |   (0) comments


In the digital age, network experience has become the primary productivity especially for telecom operators. In this video, Wenshuan Dang, Huawei’s Chief Network Architect, discusses how carriers can tackle the challenge of infrastructure complexity in order to enhance business agility and improve user experience.
LRTV Documentaries
The Rise of Virtual CPE

1|27|15   |   01:38   |   (3) comments


As NFV strategies evolve from tests and trials to production telco networks, expect to hear a lot about virtual CPE (customer premises equipment) rollouts during 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
Optical Is Hot in 2015

1|23|15   |   01:56   |   (2) comments


Optical comms technology underpins the whole communications sector and there are some really hot trends set for 2015.
LRTV Custom TV
Policy Control in the Fast Lane

1|22|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


What's making policy control strategic in 2015 and beyond? Amdocs talks with Heavy Reading's Graham Finnie about the key factors driving change in the data services landscape. Find out what his policy management research reveals about the road ahead for policy control – and sign up for
LRTV Documentaries
Highlights From the 2020 Vision Executive Summit

1|21|15   |   4:33   |   (2) comments


In December 2014, Light Reading brought together telecom executives in Reykjavik, Iceland to discuss their vision for high-capacity networks through the end of the decade. The intimate, interactive meeting was set against the backdrop of Iceland's spectacular natural beauty. As one of the event's founding sponsors, Cisco's Doug Webster shared his company's ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Harmonic, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment with Huawei

1|20|15   |   5:42   |   (1) comment


At IBC, Peter Alexander, Senior Vice President & CMO at Harmonic, speaks about the growing interest in pay-TV service and its branching into multiple devices.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sony Marketing Director Olivier Bovis Discusses the Outlook for 4K and Cooperation With Huawei at IBC 2014

1|20|15   |   6:50   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Envivio, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment

1|20|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Pay-TV's Networked Future

1|20|15   |   6:29   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about the future of the pay-TV industry and its transition.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Jeff Heynen: Distributed Access Will Help MSOs Compete in the Future

1|20|15   |   2:26   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about moving to distributed access and the future trend of cable business.
LRTV Interviews
Cisco Talks Transformation

1|20|15   |   13:02   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Steve Saunders sat down with Cisco VP of Products & Solutions Marketing Doug Webster at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. They spoke about Cisco's approach to network virtualization as well as how service providers can begin to monetize high-capacity networks through the end of the decade.
Upcoming Live Events
February 5, 2015, Washington, DC
February 19, 2015, The Fairmont San Jose, San Jose, CA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 9-10, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2-3, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
Infographics
Hot Topics
Google Continues Gigabit Expansion
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 1/27/2015
Cablevision's New WiFi Try – Freewheeling Enough?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 1/26/2015
LightSpeed Looks to Plug the Gigabit Gap
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 1/23/2015
Overture Builds on NFV Foundation
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 1/27/2015
Parks Predicts HBO OTT Success
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 1/23/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Weekly Executive Interview
Join us live for Light Reading's interview with Jay Samit, the newly appointed CEO of publicly traded SeaChange International Inc. With a resume that includes Sony, EMI, Universal, Intel and Microsoft, Samit brings a reputation as an entrepreneur and a disruptor to his new role at the video solutions company. Hear what he has to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.