& cplSiteName &

Hotspot 2.0 Makes Slow & Steady Progress

Sarah Thomas
2/27/2014
50%
50%

BARCELONA -- Mobile World Congress -- The hype around Hotspot 2.0 is giving way to slow and steady progress from the operators with a practical focus on policy.

That was the general perception of the two-year-old standard, which automatically connects mobile users to carrier WiFi networks, at this week's MWC in Barcelona. To work seamlessly, the standard requires support in the handset, at the access point, and from mobile operators. So far, the Wi-Fi Alliance has certified more than 75 devices that support the standard, but the operators are just now starting to come around. (See WiFi Passpoint: Ready for Prime Time and AT&T: Hotspot 2.0 Integral to Multimode Small Cells.)

"I would say that Hotspot 2.0 is making steady gains but not outrageous gains," Devicescape Software Inc. CEO Dave Fraser told Light Reading at the show. "It's almost been overhyped as the silver bullet for capacity and service issues, but Hotspot 2.0 or any carrier WiFi can be expensive and time consuming."

For consumers, Hotspot 2.0 is important because of the automatic authentication and the potential for lower bills, but its scope remains pretty limited. Fraser said it does nothing to improve the quality of your WiFi, and it won't seek out noncarrier networks unless they are roaming partners of the carrier. (See Carrier WiFi: The Handoff Tradeoff.)

"The whole quality of experience area is still ground for improvement," he said. "Hotspot 2.0 only goes 10% of the way there. It doesn't say you're too far from the network or what the servers are willing to do."

However, the operators are working on that, as well. For them, the appeal of Hotspot 2.0 is increased use of WiFi, alleviating network congestion, and the ability to choose when to hand off based on network conditions, speed, location, and billing preferences.

At least, that's the goal, and the industry is working now on the policy piece, according to Matthew MacPherson, director of technical marketing Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO). At this week's show, Cisco, AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), and Accuris Networks plc trialed the technology, but using it required forgetting any other previously used WiFi network. It was far from automatic.

MacPherson said this won't be an issue when it's provisioned out the box, which will be the case going forward. Hotspot 2.0 can be pushed to new devices via a software update, as was the case with Apple's iOS 7 update, and it's being included in most future Android phones. (See iOS 7: The Next-Gen Hotspot Game Changer .)

Another thing helping to move the technology forward is the fact that Boingo Wireless Inc. has expanded its Hotspot 2.0 carrier and device maker trial, which started at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, to 21 airports across the country. Derek Peterson, Boingo's senior vice president of engineering, told us in a preshow interview that all the carriers are talking about enacting Hotspot 2.0 today, but roaming agreements are still necessary and still must be forged. Boingo, which acts as a hub for more than 140 operators' hotspots, has several such contracts in the works. (See Boingo Expands Hotspot 2.0 to 21 Airports, WiFi 2.0: Roaming Holds the Key, and WiFi Roaming: The Technical Considerations.)

"The technology might be new, the approach is new, but the business is the same," Peterson said.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(24)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Page 1 / 3   >   >>
pcharles09
50%
50%
pcharles09,
User Rank: Light Beer
9/25/2014 | 11:01:27 PM
Re: Progress is good...
@lgarza,

Thanks for the clarification. Good to know the specifics.
ShahA411
50%
50%
ShahA411,
User Rank: Light Beer
5/21/2014 | 2:07:38 AM
Great
Hotspot 2.0 is a grea!! If you would emphasize some of it'd strength, I could appreciate you. Thanks for sharing. http://www.pokermachinesonline.org/
GeoTel
50%
50%
GeoTel,
User Rank: Light Beer
3/27/2014 | 6:04:25 AM
Appealing
If this made having a stable and reliable hotspot while traveling easier and more affordable, especially abroad, I'd be thrilled to sign up.
mmacpher
100%
0%
mmacpher,
User Rank: Light Beer
3/5/2014 | 6:35:08 PM
Re: Progress is good...
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
3/5/2014 | 4:27:18 PM
Re: Progress is good...
But ANDSF solves the authentication problem within operators' own WiFi footprints, doesn't it?
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
3/5/2014 | 4:26:28 PM
Re: HS2.0 Seamless Connectivity
Thanks for the feedback and explanation, Matthew!
lgarza@cisco.com
100%
0%
lgarza@cisco.com,
User Rank: Light Beer
3/4/2014 | 1:09:40 PM
Re: Progress is good...
Sarah.  That's actually a misunderstanding.  Hotspot 2.0 is the standard for securely authenticating users onto a carrier-grade Wi-Fi network.  ANDSF is the standard for network-based policy decisions about whether the user will move onto the cellular or the Wi-Fi network given network conditions.  They are not mutually exclusive.  They work in synch.
mmacpher
100%
0%
mmacpher,
User Rank: Light Beer
3/3/2014 | 11:58:42 PM
HS2.0 Seamless Connectivity
HotSpot 2.0 does provide seamless and secure connectivity.  The MWC public Wi-Fi provided both HS2.0 and PSK (Pre-Shared Key - e.g. SSID with password) public access.  This was for two key reasons... First, there needed to be legacy support for non Passpoint compliant devices (Passpoint is the certification the WFA does to ensure HS2.0 device compliance).  Second, HS2.0 authentication goes back to your home operator for authentication, so the home operator of your SIM must be participating in the roaming agreement.  If your home operator wasn't participating you would need to use PSK. 

So, given a Passpoint device and the right operator SIM, why would the MWC experience seem not so seamless?  This is due to the connection priority in your phone.  Most phones will prioritize a known network over an unknown network.  A known network is one that you have connected to before.  HS2.0 networks are considered unknown as they authenticate when discovered, so don't have to be remembered by the device.  The most common known networks on your phone would be your home and/or office. So what happens if your home or office is next to a coffee shop that supports HS2.0?  If HS2.0 was the prioritized connection, then you would connect to the coffee shop instead of your home/office - which is not the desired behavior.

Back to MWC... in order for HS2.0 to work seamlessly your device must have no known networks available, e.g. in Wi-Fi range.  So if you had already connected to MWC via PSK, it would always connect this way.  If you tell your device to forget the PSK network, then bingo... right into HS2.0.  You would not have to tell your device to forget all known networks.  For example, your home network or office network could still be on the device, but since those networks were not available at MWC, no problem, HS2.0 would find and connect you automatically. 

Here is the good news!  As more and more networks enable HS2.0 the more seamless your experience will be.  No more selecting an SSID, accepting a contract, signing up for service, or punching in a credit card.  The connection is done automatically through a roaming relationship with your home operator - just like cellular.  Second, HS2.0 is secure!  It uses 802.1x for L2 authentication, 802.11i for L2 air encryption, and EAP methods (EAP/SIM for MWC) for L3 authentication.  This is far more secure than existing WebAuth and WISPr deployments.

So, although the technology described above may be too complex for the average user, they won't care because they'll just connect automatically, seamlessly and securely.  And... isn't that how it ought to work?
macster
50%
50%
macster,
User Rank: Light Bulb
3/3/2014 | 11:54:22 AM
Re: Progress is good...
I guess Vodafone's Always Best Connected is what they are trying to achieve, but there will always be conflict of interest, since "best connected", more often than not, means lowest cost to subscriber.
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
3/3/2014 | 6:27:41 AM
Re: Progress is good...
I'll have to find the stats for the exact number, but most WiFi usage still happens in the home and office. That's not to say that public WiFi quality doesn't matter. It does, of course. If H2 can help NOT put you on broken or overloaded networks, that'd be just as valuable as getting you on the good ones, IMO.
Page 1 / 3   >   >>
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
From The Founder
Download our complete guide to de-risking NFV deployment in 2016, including:
  • An eight-step strategy to deploying NFV safely, based on input from the companies that have already started virtualizing their production networks.
  • Interviews with leading executives at Colt, AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Cisco, Nokia, ZTE, Ericsson and Heavy Reading.
  • Flash Poll
    Live Streaming Video
    Prepping for the Future: Upskill U Explained
    During this short kick-off video, Doug Webster, Vice President of Service Provider Marketing, Cisco, and Light Reading’s CEO & Founder Steve Saunders give an overview of Upskill U.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Amsterdam ArenA, Powered by Huawei

    5|4|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Huawei's ICT solutions power the state-of-the-art Amsterdam ArenA, turning it into a smart stadium.
    LRTV Interviews
    Testing When There's No 'There' There

    5|4|16   |     |   (0) comments


    The benefits of SDN/NFV are well known, but the transition comes with some challenges, prominent among them is: how do you test a network that has been abstracted and has the potential to be endlessly reconfigurable? Light Reading was at NFV World Congress in Santa Clara, Calif., where we bumped into Mats Nordlund, CEO and co-founder of Netrounds, a Swedish ...
    LRTV Interviews
    Ditching the Slash & the Orchestration Wars

    5|3|16   |     |   (2) comments


    SDN and NFV have been inextricably bound with each other for so long that on a conceptual level, smooshing them together into one catch-all phrase – SDNFV – is now justifiable, according to Dan Pitt, executive director of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF). Light Reading spoke to Pitt at the NFV World Congress, where he explained that the next ...
    LRTV Custom TV
    ZTE TV Connect Highlights

    5|3|16   |     |   (0) comments


    ZTE gives us a tour of its booth and new products at TV Connect in London.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Deluxe's Unified Delivery Solution

    5|3|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Join Alan Breznick of Light Reading and visit the Deluxe booth at NAB! Here you'll find Deluxe's Unified Delivery Solution, OTT video, virtual reality, HDR, 4K and much more!
    LRTV Interviews
    Verizon Puts Gray Boxes in the Shade

    5|2|16   |   04:33   |   (1) comment


    When it comes to the white box trend, "gray" boxes, which have a slight proprietary twist, don't give service providers and end users the advantages they're seeking, according to Verizon's Vice President of Product and New Business Innovation Shawn Hakl.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Dealing With a Disrupted Video Market

    5|2|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Ericsson's Simon Frost discusses how traditional pay-TV providers can cope with the big changes wrought by the rise of OTT video and IP technology.
    LRTV Custom TV
    The VNF Responsibility of Red Hat

    5|2|16   |     |   (0) comments


    At MWC, Caroline Chappell of Heavy Reading visits the Red Hat booth and sits down with Chris Wright to talk about the responsibility the VNF needs to take on in order to ensure the operators get the carrier-grade performance they expect for their network.
    LRTV Interviews
    AT&T Expert on the Key Pillars of UC

    4|29|16   |   03:58   |   (0) comments


    Vishy Gopalakrishnan, AVP of product marketing at AT&T, talks about the three developments that are making unified communications and collaboration secure and reliable for enterprise users.
    LRTV Documentaries
    LRTV Report: Mobile Core Innovation

    4|28|16   |   25:32   |   (0) comments


    Hear from multiple industry experts from Deutsche Telekom, SK Telecom, Heavy Reading, Huawei, Cisco, Ericsson, Nokia, NEC and many more about developments in the mobile core as operators virtualize their IMS and evolved packet core systems and prepare for a 5G world.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    NFV World Congress Highlight

    4|26|16   |     |   (0) comments


    The highlight of the NFV World Congress contains exciting telecom news. Join us for an inside look at Huawei's ICT 2020 plan and its latest collaboration with industry leaders.
    LRTV Interviews
    Unified Comms Finds Its Voice

    4|25|16   |   03:44   |   (0) comments


    Peter Quinlan, VP of UCC Product Management at Tata Communications, talks about the evolution of the unified communications and collaboration services sector and how voice is now a big part of current developments.
    Upcoming Live Events
    May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
    May 23, 2016, Austin Convention Center
    May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
    December 6-8, 2016,
    June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    All Upcoming Live Events
    Infographics
    A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
    Hot Topics
    Ultra-Broadband Summit, Hong Kong
    Iain Morris, News Editor, 4/27/2016
    Amazon AWS Reports $2.6B Quarterly Revenue, Up a Colossal 64%
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 4/28/2016
    WiCipedia: Woman Cards & Bitch Switches
    Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 4/29/2016
    Sprint CEO: Our Spectrum Is for 5G
    Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/3/2016
    Amazon & Other 'Big 4' Cloud Providers Crushing Competitors
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 4/29/2016
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
    Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
    Animals with Phones
    Sloth Mail Click Here
    Sloth mail -- somehow even slower than snail mail.
    Live Digital Audio

    Of all the tech companies in the Valley, Intel has made the most aggressive commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workplace culture. It's doing so by taking concrete, measurable steps, making a large financial investment and through a commitment to complete transparency about its progress. In this radio show, WiC Director Sarah Thomas will be joined by Shlomit Weiss, Intel's Vice President, Data Center Group, and General Manager of Networking Engineering, who will share with us why Intel is tackling this huge challenge, how and to what effect. She will also discuss her unique experiences leading development of Client SOC development in the past and today leading development of all of the chipmaker's silicon hardware for networking IPs and discrete devices and managing a team of 600 engineers across Israel, Europe and the US.