The biggest trade show for mobile technology, Mobile World Congress, takes place in Barcelona this week. The show will be the launch pad for tons of new Wi-Fi enabled mobile devices, and will also be the backdrop for important updates on the next generation of connectivity that will make the super cool features of these new devices possible.
The WBA’s Wi-Fi Zone at Mobile World Congress will offer a forum for industry thought leaders to share their insights and case studies on these key industry topics including Next Generation Hotspot, seamless Wi-Fi roaming and data offload.
Our own Bjorn Thorngren, vice president of international markets, will be presenting on Wi-Fi offload and roaming on Wednesday, Feb. 27 from 10:30-10:50 a.m. CET at the WBA Wi-Fi Zone, located at Hall 8.1 of the Fira Gran Via. If you’re among the 70,000 attendees at MWC, be sure to mark your calendars for this insightful discussion.
Here’s a little preview: Boingo recently announced its support of the WBA’s Interoperability Compliance Program (ICP), alongside other leading operators including AT&T and NTT DOCOMO. Check out Bjorn’s take on what the ICP will mean for seamless wireless connectivity below in his guest blog post.
WBA ICP: Accelerating Seamless Wi-Fi Roaming
By: Bjorn Thorngren, WBA Board Member and Boingo Wireless Vice President, International Markets
As a company, Boingo’s goal has always been to make it as quick and painless as possible to get people connected wherever they travel, worldwide.
With nearly 12 years of experience trying to coordinate hundreds of roaming integrations, Boingo has been in a unique position to see the industry’s evolution from chaotic proprietary approaches to industry-evolved mutually beneficial structures for integration. The WBA’s Interoperability Compliance Program (ICP) framework helps further simplify the process by defining very specific elements required to expedite integrations among network operators.
As the industry’s first global Wi-Fi operator and network aggregator, we’re excited that codified, global guidelines are moving to the forefront. That’s why we immediately signed up to participate in the WBA ICP. The industry standards that are being developed as part of the program — for everything from data offload to billing — are designed to streamline industry collaboration, and ultimately to deliver on the promise of widespread, seamless connectivity for users through Wi-Fi roaming – the fundamental value propositions of the Next Generation Hotspot initiative. Defining what is required and expected up front helps expedite the integration process – which will become increasingly critical as mobile operators look for Wi-Fi offload and global roaming service solutions.
We welcomed the opportunity to share our experience in brokering roaming partnerships as part of the ICP self-assessment, and to help create the ICP compliance guidelines. We even used the approved documentation in a recent integration with a major network operator.
We believe that these agreed-upon industry frameworks will enable rapid network aggregation and interoperability, expanding the operators’ global Wi-Fi footprint and accelerating user access to alleviate capacity constraints and meet ever-increasing consumer demand for data. Simply put, the ICP lays the groundwork for Next Generation Hotspot implementations worldwide. And as I see it, that’s a win-win-win – for the industry, for operators, and most importantly, for consumers.