Light Reading

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...
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
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?
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
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.
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
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
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Last week I dropped in on "Hotlanta," Georgia to moderate Light Reading's inaugural DroneComm conference – a unique colloquium investigating the potential for drone communications to disrupt the world's telecom ecosystem. As you will see, it was a day of exploration and epiphany...
Between the CEOs
Affirmed Networks CEO: Digging Into NFV

5|28|15   |   40:26   |   (2) comments


Hassan Ahmed, CEO of Affirmed Networks, is making some big claims for his NFV startup. I sat down with him at the Light Reading HQ in New York City to get the skinny on what this Acton, Mass.-based startup is up to.
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Eyeing SDN for Headend, Home Uses

5|26|15   |   05:57   |   (1) comment


CableLabs is looking at virtualizing CMTS and CCAP devices in the headend, as well as in-home devices, says CableLabs' Karthik Sundaresan.
LRTV Documentaries
Verizon's Emmons: SDN Key to Cost-Effective Scaling

5|22|15   |   03:53   |   (0) comments


For Verizon and other network operators to ramp up available bandwidth cost effectively, they need to move to SDN and agree on how to do that.
LRTV Documentaries
Lack of Universal SDN a Challenge

5|21|15   |   04:51   |   (3) comments


Heavy Reading Analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how uncertainty about SDN standards and approaches may be slowing deployment.
LRTV Custom TV
Steve Vogelsang Interview: Carrier SDN

5|20|15   |   05:02   |   (0) comments


Sterling Perrin speaks to Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, about the new Carrier SDN-enabling Network Services Platform and the operator challenges it solves.
LRTV Custom TV
Carrier SDN: On-Demand Networks for an On-Demand World

5|20|15   |   20:52   |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, talks about requirements and benefits of Carrier SDN during the keynote address at the Light Reading Carrier SDN event May 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
The Security Challenge of SDN

5|19|15   |   02:52   |   (0) comments


CenturyLink VP James Feger discusses concerns that virtualization could create new vulnerabilities unless network operators build in safeguards.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Elasticity – Highly Available VNF Scale-Out Architectures for the Mobile Edge

5|18|15   |   5:50   |   (0) comments


Peter Marek and Paul Stevens from Advantech Networks and Communications Group talk about their NFV Elasticity initiative and the company's latest platforms for deploying virtual network functions at the edge of the network. Packetarium XL and the new Versatile Server Module: 'designed to reach parts of the network that other servers cannot reach.'
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bay Area Spark Meetup 2015

5|14|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Developed in 2009, Apache Spark is a powerful open source processing engine built around speed, ease of use and sophisticated analytics. This spring, Huawei hosted a meetup for Spark developers and data scientists in Santa Clara, California. Light Reading spoke with organizers and attendees about Huawei's code contributions and long-term commitment to Spark.
LRTV Custom TV
The Transport SDN Buzz

5|12|15   |   06:01   |   (1) comment


Sterling Perrin, senior analyst at Heavy Reading, speaks with Peter Ashwood-Smith of Huawei and Guru Parulkar of ON.Lab about the evolution of transport SDN and the integration of technologies.
LRTV Custom TV
Next-Generation CCAP: Cisco cBR-8 Evolved CCAP

5|5|15   |   04:49   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explained the innovation design of Cisco's cBR-8, the industry's first Evolved CCAP, including DOCSIS 3.1 design from ground-up, distributed CCAP with Remote PHY and path to virtualization. Cisco's cBR-8 Evolved CCAP is the platform that will last through the transitions.
LRTV Custom TV
Meeting the Demands of Bandwidth & Service Group Growth

5|1|15   |   5:35   |   (0) comments


Jorge Salinger, Comcast's Vice President of Access Architecture, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 and multi-service CCAP can meet the demands of the bandwidth and service group growth.
Upcoming Live Events
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Procera has gathered facts, stats and customer experience feedback from a survey of 540 users from across the globe.
Hot Topics
10 Alternate Uses for Tablets
Eryn Leavens, Copy Desk Editor, 5/22/2015
Bidding War for TWC Looks Likelier
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 5/22/2015
Charter Seals Deals for TWC, Bright House
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/26/2015
Eurobites: Alcatel-Lucent Trials 400G in Czech Republic
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 5/26/2015
Potholes Lurk in Indian Smart City Project
Gagandeep Kaur, Contributing Editor, 5/22/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
On May 29th 10 AM ET, Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, will be drilling into the "pains and gains" of NFV with Saar Gillai, SVP & GM for NFV at Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) (HP). He has defined a four-step NFV model describing a sequence of technology innovation. It's a must-read doc for any network architect looking to get to grips with their NFV migration strategy. Join us for the interview, and the chance to ask Saar your NFV questions directly!
Hassan Ahmed, CEO of Affirmed Networks, is making some big claims for his NFV startup. I sat down with him at the Light Reading HQ in New York City to get the skinny on what this Acton, Mass.-based startup is up to.
With 200 customers in 60 countries, Stockholm-based Net Insight has carved out a solid leadership position in one of the hottest vertical markets going in comms right now: helping service providers and broadcasters deliver video and other multimedia traffic over IP networks. How has Net Insight managed to achieve this success in the face of immense competition from the industry giants?
Cats with Phones