Since 2011, the Wireless Broadband Alliance, the industry association formed to promote interoperability between operators in the Wi-Fi industry, and its members have been conducting trials with one of those innovative efforts: Next Generation Hotspot (NGH).

What is Next Generation Hotspot (NGH)? NGH works collaboratively with Passpoint™ technology to streamline network access in hotspots and eliminate the need for users to find and authenticate a network each time they connect. It accomplishes this by offloading to carrier-grade Wi-Fi networks without user intervention. In a nutshell, NGH creates a truly ubiquitous connected experience, removing the pain of logins, passwords, and other user headaches so that you can enjoy a seamless, automatic Wi-Fi connection.

Network discovery, identification, connection, authentication and security are all key for the seamless integration of Wi-Fi and cellular networks. NGH provides clear security benefits, providing an automatic, encrypted connection. With several IEEE 802.11 security features, NGH also transforms the security position of devices connected to hotspots with guaranteed mutual authentication and over-the-air encryption, as well as peer-to-peer traffic.

Next Generation Wi-Fi networks enable users to automatically and securely connect using credentials that are pre-provisioned (either SIM card or Cable operator profile). 5G, unlike previous generations of 3GPP standards will be more than a cellular radio definition. Instead, it will be a broad platform which integrates multiple radio access technologies (RATs) in the unlicensed, shared and licensed spectrum. Current and future evolutions of Wi-Fi, and other unlicensed spectrum technologies such as low power wide area networks (LPWANs), will play a crucial role in extending high-quality, high-speed, low-latency wireless connectivity to many new users and use cases, including connecting large numbers of machines and sensors.

An enhanced user experience is a vital component to progress and today this is being delivered by initiatives such as WBA’s Next Generation Hotspot (NGH) in tandem with the Wi-Fi Alliance’s Passpoint™ program, which together support seamless authentication and seamless multi-RAT access. The latest industry survey found that NGH implementation had grown considerably in 2017, and that 23% of respondents have implemented it, with an additional 30% planning to have done so by the end of 2018.

Next Generation Hotspot (NGH) Trials

In an effort to further bolster the expansion of NGH in the wireless ecosystem, the NGH trials include testing and further validation of additional devices that declare themselves Hotspot 2.0 (HS 2.0) compliant . The trials are achieved with the use of the WBA’s Wireless Roaming Intermediary eXchange (WRIX) specification, in areas such as authentication, financial and data clearing, invoicing, security and automation.

Objectives of the WBA Next Gen Wi-Fi Live Experience

WBA organises and leads Next Gen Wi-Fi ‘Live’ experiences at various global events and projects with the objective of enabling carriers and end users to experience the real benefits from NGH. Being part of the program, industry players and carriers can:

  • Showcase seamless and automatic roaming between Wi-Fi and cellular networks with an outstanding user experience
  • Mobilize a large number of industry partners to participate on the NGH Live Experience.
  • Actualise the new generation of Wi-Fi to IoT and W-Fi evolution in 5G era.
  • Benefit customers, events attendees and citizens with offering the seamless and secure Wi-Fi experience.
  • Engage the local cities, government bodies around Next Gen Wi-Fi benefits and foster live deployments.
 Learn more information about the Next Generation Wi-Fi  

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