Following is WBA OpenRoaming Primed for deployment across European municipalities

Quick, secure and non-abrasive public Wi-Fi ready to make life easier for citizens and businesses across Europe after rigorous testing across several Belgian municipalities

London, April 7, 2022 – The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) today announced the successful completion of rigorous testing around the WBA OpenRoaming installation, leading to innovative Wi-Fi roaming standards for adoption across Europe. It offers the potential for a fast, secure, and seamless public Wi-Fi experience for citizens, visitors, and businesses in the region. It enables privacy and compliance with GDPR, including Wi-Fi roaming between municipalities and other networks.

The test, which was conducted by WBA members in several Belgian municipalities, included evaluations of the functionality and compatibility of iOS and Android smartphones, laptops and tablets.

As part of the trial, tools from various Wi-Fi AP manufacturers, including WBA member Cisco and the Rakas Network, were used. Certificates from Identity Providers (IDPs) including eduroam and Google – also WBA members – were also tested, and various connectivity methods were used to guarantee that municipalities would have the flexibility to seamlessly interconnect using the openroaming standard. This enables end users, including residents, visitors and businesses, with certificates from various providers such as eduroam and Google, to be able to navigate seamlessly across the Wi-Fi networks of all the different municipalities participating in the trial who are part of the trial. WIFI4EU program.

The WIFI4EU program is a funding initiative to accelerate digitization across the continent, with more than 29,000 registered municipalities and more than 6,000 already fully implemented. The goal is to install Wi-Fi in public spaces, including parks, squares, public buildings, libraries, health centers, museums and more.

WBA OpenRoaming, an innovative Wi-Fi roaming standard operated by WBA, frees users from having to re-register or re-enter their login credentials, enabling instant network access combined with enterprise / carrier-level security. By adopting it, municipalities can bridge the gap between cellular and Wi-Fi technologies and provide citizens and businesses with virtual city-wide carrier-grade Internet experiences by ensuring their interdependence. A key difference for OpenRoaming is the ability to ensure individual privacy – a growing topic in public Wi-Fi networks and compliance with European GDPR policies – and is not affected by MAC address rotation between user devices.

The results of the Belgian trial concluded that OpenRoaming was initially designed to provide Wi-Fi roaming with security and privacy between the municipality and any location that provides universal Wi-Fi. The platform is guaranteed to provide a truly seamless, secure and personal browsing experience for all European citizens and visitors.

Several Belgian municipalities have already deployed OpenRoaming, with the trial demonstrating the industry’s readiness to accommodate and welcome OpenRoaming. The WBA Open Roaming Standard ensures the privacy of citizens and visitors are fully protected by a strong federation-wide legal framework and protected by certificate-based encryption among federation members.

Installations in these municipalities will facilitate seamless and secure Wi-Fi access to schools, libraries and other public domains, enabling secure access to the Internet for research, schooling and business activities. Hotels, conference centers, restaurants, bars and retailers also benefit from openroaming technology, presenting brands with the opportunity to increase consumer engagement as seamless city-wide connectivity becomes a reality.

Tiago Rodrigues, CEO of WBA, shares: “With a group of Belgian municipalities, the pilot used the most common consumer devices, smartphones, laptops, tablets, and verified the standard usage of WBA using various manufacturers’ Wi-Fi networks. To make life easier for consumers, visitors and residents, OpenRoaming creates valuable new business opportunities for any operator, venue or retailer who wants to develop its Wi-Fi services.

From libraries to coffee shops, concert halls to sports facilities, WBA OpenRoaming creates a world where Wi-Fi users can move from one network to another without the hassle of disconnecting and signing in again. The second phase of the trial represents the latest step in WBA’s mission to bridge the digital divide and create a more connected world. “

O’Donnell Mayor Cedric Halin said: “As O’Leary Mayor, known for its countryside and rural beauty, I am delighted with the positive response from citizens and visitors, but also from schools and associations who benefit from Wi-Fi networks installed inside and outside public buildings. Furthermore, with the recent implementation of OpenRoaming, access to the network has become easier because the user automatically connects to the hotspot when they reach another location covered by the OpenRoaming network. We’re really proud of that. “

Stefan Winter for eduroam says: “We are excited for the good results of the recent successful Belgium trial using eduroam identity in OpenRoaming hotspots: the trial has shown that the technical interoperability between eduroam and OpenRoaming has been confirmed Our vision is that both eduroam identity providers and eduroam end users will be able to easily opt-in using OpenRoaming hotspots with their existing eduroam identity while minimizing the technical complications behind opting in to the eduroam backend infrastructure. “

Matt McPherson, Cisco Wireless CTO, commented: “Closing the digital divide with the municipality, public Wi-Fi is more important than ever, and openroaming can play an important role in ensuring easy, secure access to important digital resources. OpenRoaming is a perfect complement to a municipal Wi-Fi network, as it breaks down barriers to access and ensures that the public gets the most out of the network. Enabling public Wi-Fi with OpenRoaming opens up new and exciting opportunities for any municipality. “

Bert Giordano, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Rackus Networks, said: “Ruckus Networks supports OpenRoaming with its SmartZone ™ control and management platform. We believe this initiative will provide an uninterrupted connection experience for users of Wi-Fi enabled devices worldwide. The successful completion of this trial brings us closer to that goal. “

About the Wireless Broadband Alliance
The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) is a global organization that connects people to the latest Wi-Fi initiatives. Founded in 2003, the vision of the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) is to deliver uninterrupted, inter-manageable service experience through Wi-Fi within the global wireless ecosystem. WBA’s goal is to enable collaboration between service providers, technology companies, cities, regulators and agencies to achieve that vision. WBA’s membership-sharing approach involves major operators, identity providers and leading technology companies across the Wi-Fi ecosystem.

WBA conducts programs and activities for member companies to address business and technical issues as well as opportunities. WBA work includes quality development, industry guidelines, trials, certifications, and advocacy. Its core programs include NextGen Wi-Fi, OpenRoaming, 5G, IoT, testing and interoperability and policy and regulatory affairs, member-led workgroups to promote end-to-end services and business opportunities .

WBA boards include Airties, AT&T, Boingo Wireless, Broadcom, BT, Cisco Systems, Comcast, Deutsche Telekom AG, GlobalReach Technology, Google, Intel, Reliance Jio, SK Telecom and Viasat. For a complete list of current WBA members, click here: https://wballiance.com/join-us/current-members/

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