WBA OpenRoaming can bring free and fast Wi-Fi to entire cities
The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) has announced that it has successfully completed a concept trial that will see Dublin, a tech hub of Europe, receive free and fast Wi-Fi across the city. The WBA has board representatives from the likes of AT&T, Intel, Google, Comcast, and Deutsche Telekom. Users who were in Barnardo Square on Dame Street or Dublin City Council’s amphitheater on Wood Quay were able to avail of free Wi-Fi that once logged in, would stay logged in. It was possible to move between the two areas and maintain connectivity.
For context, the WBA’s OpenRoaming initiative is already rolled out to one million hotspots globally, but this would see the first major city powered by the OpenRoaming initiative. It’s expected that over 150 access points will be rolled out across the city, employing Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E technology to ensure a “carrier-grade experience” that residents and tourists can effortlessly avail of. The trial was initiated by Dublin City Council’s “Smart Dublin” program and was supported by both the WBA and Virgin Media.
Tiago Rodrigues, CEO of the Wireless Broadband Alliance, said that “Wi-Fi is the foundation for smart cities. This successful proof-of-concept trial shows that that the City of Dublin and its residents, businesses and visitors all can depend on the WBA OpenRoaming standard to ensure that they always have convenient access to seamless, secure, carrier-grade Wi-Fi connectivity.” While it’s not confirmed, this seemingly paves the way for the WBA to look to bring this initiative to other cities at the same scale across the globe.
WBA’s OpenRoaming is now in release 3 and was launched in May 2020. It’s aimed at allowing businesses, device OEMs, service providers, and others to offer business users and consumers friction-free access to Wi-Fi. It was developed as a global solution based on a common set of standards to bridge gaps between cellular and Wi-Fi.