Industry Terms Defined: Hotspot 2.0, Passpoint, and Next Generation Hotspot, Oh My!


What is Hotspot 2.0?

Hotspot 2.0 is a technical specification from the Wi-Fi Alliance (WFA) — the global organization that oversees Wi-Fi interoperability certification. Hotspot 2.0 serves as the foundation for seamless, secure connections to Wi-Fi networks using a combination of Wi-Fi standards that can fundamentally change public Wi-Fi access. The Hotspot 2.0 technical specification requires several key technologies (primarily IEEE 802.11u and IEEE 802.1x) to enable seamless, secure access.

What is Passpoint?

Passpoint is the Wi-Fi Alliance’s trademarked brand designating that a hardware device has passed interoperability testing against the Hotspot 2.0 technical specification. Any hardware devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops, access points) that pass the testing for the Hotspot 2.0 specification compatibility receive Passpoint certification. Those devices with Passpoint™ certification include the necessary technologies to enable seamless, secure connections.

These technologies provide those benefits that we outlined above: seamless and secure connections, and a standard method for allowing wireless carriers to shift traffic onto a Wi-Fi network, improving their customers’ experience.

What is Next Generation Hotspot?

Next Generation Hotspot is an initiative within the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) — the global organization for Wi-Fi network operators — to enable public Wi-Fi networks for seamless, secure connections using Passpoint-certified hardware, and network integration best practices defined by the WBA and its members.

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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