Hotspot 2.0 is Here, and It’s Awesome: An Overview


Boingo recently announced the launch of Hotspot 2.0 at 21 airports across the U.S., featuring Passpoint-enabled networks that provide seamless, secure Wi-Fi access to travelers using applicable devices with a special Passpoint profile installed. The participating airports are among the highest traffic in the nation, including LAX, Chicago O’Hare, New York’s JFK and LaGuardia, and Austin-Bergstrom International airports, among many others.

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So, what IS Hotspot 2.0, and Passpoint? What does this announcement mean for travelers and mobile device users?

Simply put, the launch of these new Passpoint-enabled networks marks the start of a fundamental change in the way mobile device users will connect to Wi-Fi on the go. Passpoint-enabled networks do away with public Wi-Fi log-ins and browser redirects forever. They provide automatic access to a secure Wi-Fi network using a Passpoint profile stored on your favorite device, dramatically improving the experience of getting connected to public Wi-Fi.

Hotspot 2.0 and Passpoint-enabled networks deliver three key benefits to users:

NGH_iphoneInstant Access: With a properly installed profile, a phone or tablet will recognize the network immediately and log a user in. It’s just like the experience you have when you walk into your home or office, and automatically connect to a private secure network.

Simple Access: People with a properly installed Passpoint profile won’t have to open a browser, enter a password in a login screen, or hunt for a network – they’ll be connected before they pull their phone out of their pockets.

Secure Access: Passpoint-enabled networks use 802.1x to authenticate users onto a WPA2 encrypted connections. Or in layman’s terms: the networks enable an enterprise-level secure connection, with no VPNs needed.

 

So, where do you sign up for this amazing Wi-Fi connectivity experience? We’ve invited some of our “power users” to download a Passpoint profile to their iOS 7 devices to experience the seamless connections at these 21 airports.

If you weren’t among these initial invitees, never fear! We are working hard to expand our Hotspot 2.0 network of locations beyond the initial 21 U.S. airports, and to support Android devices. We hope to be able to invite all of our customers to use these networks soon.

Still have questions? Below, we have answers to frequently asked questions about the “Next Generation Hotspot” experience via Passpoint-enabled networks.

How do I know if I have been invited to use the network?

We have invited only a limited number of our “power users” who connect via iOS 7 devices to use the networks at this time. These invited customers would have received an email titled “VIP Invitation: Secure Access to Boingo Airports.”

This email would include a link to download a “Passpoint Secure” profile.

How do I download a Passpoint profile?

If you received an email invite to connect, you will see a button that reads “Download Passpoint Secure Profile” at the end of the email. Click on this button on your iOS 7 device, and you’ll be redirected to our “Next Generation Hotspot” micro site. Just enter your Boingo user name and password, and the profile will install on your device.

How will I know when I have connected to the Boingo “Passpoint Secure” network?

That’s the beautiful thing. When you are in a “Passpoint Secure” location, your device will connect securely to the Passpoint-enabled network without you doing a thing.

If you want to confirm that you are on the “Passpoint Secure” network, simply go to your “Settings” menu on your iOS 7 device and click on “Wi-Fi.” You’ll see a check mark on the left side of the “Passpoint Secure” network name, indicating that you’re connected to that network.

I’m an Android device user. Is the Passpoint experience available to me?

Not yet. We rolled out access to iOS 7 users first. We are working to roll the experience out for additional customers and operating systems soon.

What devices can seamlessly connect to the “Passpoint Secure” networks today?

The following devices running iOS 7 have the ability to connect to the networks, if they have the “Passpoint Secure” profile installed:

  • iPhone 5, 5S and 5C
  • iPad 3rd gen, 4th gen, and Air
  • iPad Mini 1st gen and 2nd gen

When will the seamless connectivity experience be available at my airport?

We are working with our airport partners – more than 75 worldwide – to Passpoint-enable their networks. We hope to have more news to share soon.

About Melody Demel

Melody is Senior Manager, PR for Boingo Wireless, where she is responsible for media relations, brand building and thought leadership initiatives. Melody is a die-hard Nebraska Cornhuskers fan and retired NCAA DI college field hockey player.
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