A global roaming platform has been launched aimed at improving access to public hotspots around the world.
Working in a similar way to mobile phone roaming, the RoamPoint platform has been set up to facilitate global roaming agreements between Wi-Fi networks and service providers, reducing the hassle of having to sign up to billing agreements with multiple service providers.
Backed by wireless chip manufacturer Intel and wireless hotspot provider The Cloud, RoamPoint plans to provide a single infrastructure so that service providers and hotspot networks can strike multiple roaming agreements.
"Whether you log on in Valencia or London you want the wireless experience to be the same," said Leon de Beer, director at RoamPoint.
RoamPoint plans to link together systems including signalling mediation, authentication, billing, provisioning and network monitoring.
The service is set to go live on 14 April, linking 5,000 hotspots and three major networks.
"Consumers do not want to make a purchasing decision every time they switch on their laptop," said de Beer.
The plan is to increase wireless usage and revenues by removing the frustrations consumers face when searching for a service provider's hotspots.
"Simplified network selection and single billing and log-on is key for the uptake of wireless," Andrew Greenhalgh, mobility marketing director at Intel, told vnunet.com.
Working with GSM clearing houses, RoamPoint claims it will allow Wi-Fi network providers to more easily integrate into the back-end systems of service providers, including mobile operators and ISPs looking to offer Wi-Fi networks as part of their mobile data strategy.
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