Today, many airport authorities are introducing free high-speed Wi-Fi internet access as an amenity for travelers. Some offer access throughout the entire airport, while others may limit it to specified terminal or waiting areas.
Continuing this trend, Boingo (News - Alert) Wireless has introduced a commercial Next Generation Hotspot Wi-Fi network at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, one of the world’s busiest airports with more than 67 million annual passengers.
This Wi-Fi hotspot is a stepping stone to seamless carrier offload and is a vital component to meet the growing demand for passenger access to Wi-Fi mobile broadband.
The new Passpoint-enabled network,“Boingo Passpoint,” permits unified roaming and carrier offload, automating network identification, authentication and encryption without user intervention.
Bingo officials confirmed that this network is currently live and open for end-to-end testing by mobile carriers, Wi-Fi operators, and handset manufacturers, especially those already participating in the Wireless Broadband Alliance’s (WBA) Next Generation Hotspot trials.
“We believe that carrier offload will be an important growth driver for Boingo and the Wi-Fi industry at large, especially as standards-based seamless offload methods like this become more prevalent in market,” said David Hagan, CEO of Boingo Wireless (News - Alert). “The sheer volume of users in high-volume, high-traffic locations like O’Hare Airport creates data demand thresholds that can tax traditional mobile networks; Wi-Fi offload via Passpoint creates additional data capacity for carriers without forcing users to jump through hoops.”
Many of the world’s largest operators and vendors have successfully participated in trials of Next Generation Hotspots (NGH) that drastically simplify Wi-Fi hotspot access. Boingo was one among them to show keen interest in the trials and is WBA-certified as compliant with established interoperability guidelines.“Wi-Fi Alliance (News - Alert) congratulates Boingo on launching its Passpoint-certified network,” said Edgar Figueroa, president and CEO of Wi-Fi Alliance. “We are pleased to see service providers recognizing the benefits of Passpoint as an essential component to meet the growing demand for seamless access to Wi-Fi mobile broadband.”