As we prepare to help host the upcoming Wireless Broadband Alliance Wi-Fi Global Congress in our own backyard in San Francisco, I’ve found myself reflecting on how far we’ve come with advancing the standards around Next Generation Hotspot.
In June 2011, the WBA launched Next Generation Hotspot trials based on the Hotspot 2.0 specification. In February 2012 Cisco announced that our SP Wi-Fi solution is enabled with Next Generation Hotspot technology. In June 2012, the Wi-Fi Alliance started certifying Hotspot 2.0 products under the new brand Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Passpoint. This fall we expect to see the first Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Passpoint handsets arriving on the market, which will open the door for the industry to move past early trials to mass-market commercial deployments. Before this year is out we will be able to walk into a store and buy a mobile device that allows us to roam seamlessly and securely onto carrier-grade Wi-Fi networks.
The Samsung Galaxy S III is set to become the world’s first device in the market with Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Passpoint certification to enable seamless Wi-Fi access in hotspots “We have worked closely with Cisco throughout the Next Generation Hotspot trial period to deliver the first commercial grade Passpoint certified Android smartphone”, said Jong Mu Choi, Head of WLAN R&D at Samsung Electronics.
And Cisco Wi-Fi networks worldwide are ready to deliver Next Generation Hotspot the day the enabled device is sold. We have an installed base of close to 15 million Wi-Fi access points. Half of these are already running software that supports Next Generation Hotspot – that’s over 7 million access points worldwide. In fact, 41 Cisco products – from access points to controllers – have already received the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Passpoint designation.
So as the industry awaits the delivery of mobile devices that can support Next Generation Hotspot networks, Cisco is ready. We look forward to the rapid rollout of new location-based services that will be enabled on these new networks. And we look forward to welcoming you all to San Francisco in November. Come share the excitement!