Operators set stage for international Wi-Fi roaming

Network assessments will lead the way as operators look to offer users simpler access when travelling

International roaming between carriers' Wi-Fi networks has come a step closer, with AT&T, Boingo Wireless, NTT DoCoMo and Orange completing network assessments as part of the Wireless Broadband Alliance's new interoperability program.

Mobile operators have come to see public Wi-Fi as an important part of their networks as their customers generate increasing volumes of data traffic. But processes for users to connect to and roam on to Wi-Fi networks are still fragmented, according to the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA).

By defining a blue print for Wi-Fi roaming, carriers will better understand how to integrate their networks to support roaming with greater consistency and efficiency, the WBA said on Wednesday.

Following the initial launch of the Interoperability Compliancy Program (ICP) in December, operators have done a self-assessment analysis to gauge their own readiness. They looked at areas such as authentication, network discovery and selection, access security, information exchange and charging models.

Based on that, the WBA has been able to create a set of compliance guidelines, offering different support levels to operators, it said. The guidelines will simplify network aggregation and global roaming, benefitting operators and consumers, according to Bjorn Thorngren, vice president international markets at Boingo.

The work led by the WBA may make international roaming easier to implement, but that hasn't prevented operators from already signing deals. This week, AT&T signed a roaming deal with the Cloud in the U.K. In December, NTT DoCoMo and Boingo announced a partnership that allows NTT DoCoMo users to access Boingo's hotspots and vice versa.

In addition to the above mentioned operators, China Mobile, KT, PCCW, Portugal Telecom, Shaw Communications, Smart Communications and True are also taking part, according to the WBA.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags NTT DoCoMoPCCWtelecommunicationShaw CommunicationsBoingo WirelessNetworkingwirelessorangeWLANs / Wi-FiCarriersat&tchina mobile

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?