The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) has successfully completed the rigorous testing around the deployment of WBA OpenRoaming, priming the innovative Wi-Fi roaming standard for adoption throughout Europe.
The testing, which was carried out by WBA members together with several municipalities in Belgium, included assessing the viability and compatibility of iOS and Android smartphones, laptops and tablets.
Tiago Rodrigues, CEO of WBA, shared: “This pilot with a group of municipalities in Belgium utilized the most common consumer devices, smartphones, laptops, tablets, and using Wi-Fi networks from different manufacturers validates the benefit of using a standard like WBA OpenRoaming to make life easier for consumers, visitors and residents, it also creates valuable new business opportunities for any operator, venue or retailer looking to develop its Wi-Fi services.
Cedric Halin, Mayor of the Municipality of Olne said: “As the Mayor of Olne, known for the beauty of the countryside and the village, I am delighted with the very positive feedback from the citizens and visitors but also from schools and associations who benefit from the Wi-Fi network deployed inside and outside public buildings. Further, with the recent implementation of OpenRoaming, access to the network becomes even easier as the user is automatically connected to the hotspot when he reaches another location covered by the OpenRoaming network. As a small city, we are honored to be among the first in Europe to deliver such an innovative service to the community.”
Stefan Winter for eduroam said: “We are excited about the good results of the recent successful Belgium trial with using eduroam identities on OpenRoaming hotspots: the trial showed that technical interoperability between eduroam and OpenRoaming is assured, enabling significantly more Wi-Fi coverage to eduroamers. Our vision is that both eduroam Identity Providers and eduroam end users will be able to easily opt-in to using OpenRoaming hotspots with their existing eduroam identities; while the eduroam backend infrastructure reduces the technical complexities behind opt-in.”
As part of the trial, equipment was used from a variety of Wi-Fi AP manufacturers including WBA members Cisco and Ruckus Networks.
Credentials from Identity Providers (IDPs) including eduroam and Google – also WBA members – were also tested, and different connection methods were employed to guarantee municipalities would have the flexibility to seamlessly interconnect using the OpenRoaming standard.
This resulted in enabling end users, including residents, visitors, and businesses with credentials from different providers, like eduroam and Google, to be able to roam seamlessly across all the different municipalities’ Wi-Fi networks participating in this trial who are also part of the WIFI4EU Program.
The results from the trials in Belgium conclude that OpenRoaming is primed to provide Wi-Fi roaming with security and privacy between municipalities and any type of venue that provides public Wi-Fi. The platform has also been confirmed to offer a truly seamless, secure, and private browsing experience for all European citizens and visitors.