Next Generation Wireless (5G and Unlicensed)

Captive Network Portal Standards for Wi-Fi

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Brian Shields

Ilya Volynkin

Chris Spencer

Tim Cappalli


Project information

Wi-Fi access is part of our basic needs in daily life. In locations such as coffee shops, airports, hotels, hospitals and public transport many enterprises are offering short-term or temporary Internet access.

It is common to start new connections by using a Captive Portal presented as a landing or log-in page which may require authentication, payment, acceptance or EULA/T&C or other valid credentials that both the host and users agree to adhere by.

WBA Members proposed to develop a whitepaper that will provide a rigorous observation and analysis of the current behaviors these Captive Portals display on different platforms; addressing key challenges to enterprises on network control, security implications and user experience, aligning tactics for presentation and user tracking; looking at the security aspects as well as providing suggested guidelines for client behavior that will gain adoption as a unified standard by client manufacturers and network hardware manufacturers.

To illustrate the challenges and opportunities, the paper will also provide real use cases and recommendations on how to enhance seamless user experience with on-boarding tactics, which will also include  PasspointTM enablement as well as various other options which allow venues & enterprises to increase brand awareness, business opportunities and improve their monetization models.

Outcomes / Target Audience

The whitepaper aims at giving recommendations on key features and functions while identifying gaps to carriers, technology providers, enterprises and other industry bodies in order to enhance the higher business opportunities and overcome the current technical constraints and miss-behaviors across different operating systems and environments.

The document will provide and analyze real use cases across vertical market including airports, hotels, enterprises, etc.

It will help the market to identify business opportunities and monetization strategies with the Captive Portal.

And finally, will include a specific use case to Captive Portal best practices under Hotspot 2.0 OSU / Passpoint TM onboarding.


Captive Portal, Next Generation Wi-Fi, NGH, Passpoint, Hotspot 2,0, monetization

Business objectives

  • Bring awareness of Captive Network Portal limitations and the fragmented use cases across platforms and manufacturers
  • Simplify the deployment and operation of premium and free public Wi-Fi networks based on advertising marketing monetization


  • Solve technological problems related to captive portals and the provision of paid access through online-payment
  • Share technical solutions to existing Captive Portal limitations
  • Provide recommendations for standardization
  • Provide feature recommendations
  • Increasing the number of supported device types for Captive-based networks