Wi-Fi Alliance Outlines 'Passpoint' Roll-Out Schedule
The Wi-Fi Alliance recently published a white paper that provides details on the Wi-Fi Certified Passpoint program. The Wi-Fi Alliance, wireless network operators, and other purveyors of wireless services have agreed on a set of standards, handshakes, and protocols whereby certified Wi-Fi devices can automatically log into secure Wi-Fi hotspots around the world. The program, first announced a year ago, is meant to help offload data traffic from cellular networks onto faster and more efficient Wi-Fi networks when possible — with little hassle for the end user. The system won't require users to authenticate or enter credentials in order to access Wi-Fi, it will happen automatically in the background. The Wi-Fi Alliance said that by mid-2012 phase one of Passpoint will be underway, which automates network discovery and selection; uses Extensible Authentication Protocols (EAP) for automatic log-ins; and enables WPA2 security. By 2013, the Wi-Fi Alliance believes that phase 2 will be underway, which will establish automatic account provisioning with a common method across vendors; and add the ability for operators to set usage policies.
PMA and A4WP Rebrand As the AirFuel Alliance
The Power Matters Alliance and Alliance for Wireless Power today announced plans to fully merge organizations under the AirFuel Alliance brand. The standard-bearers for wireless charging agreed to work together earlier this year, and today's rebranding is the final step in the process of creating a single consortium committed to improving the standards for and experience of wireless charging.
WiFi Alliance Promises Faster WiFi Is On the Horizon
The WiFi Alliance today announced an expansion of its WiFi Certified ac program in an attempt to boost the speed and capacity of WiFi routers and other WiFi-equipped devices. Specifically, devices won't receive WiFi Certified ac status unless they make improvements to several core functions.
WiFi Alliance to Start Certifying WiGig Gear
The WiFi Alliance today said much faster WiFi is coming to smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other gear starting next year. The organization announced the WiFi Certified WiGig program, which will ensure compatibility between various WiFi technologies.
Wireless Companies Form Alliance to Pressure FCC
A handful of wireless companies and public policy groups have formed an alliance meant to pressure the FCC as it drafts rules for the upcoming 600MHz reverse spectrum auction. The alliance is called SaveWirelessChoice.com.
FIDO to Let Smartphones Act As Authentication Keys
The Fast IDentity Online (FIDO) Alliance and Bluetooth Special Interest Group today announced plans to make it possible for smartphones to serve as digital keys in two-factor authentication. FIDO plans to contribute Universal Second Factor (U2F) authentication specifications over Bluetooth Smart.