"Passpoint would be a big benefit if moving about in your own city, or getting to the airport or a restaurant," he added. "Today, each area of a hotspot has a different logon and the experience is very different, but all that will go away with Passpoint, automatically."
Figueroa said the Passpoint certification process relies upon interoperability across carriers globally. He said he didn't know what AT&T might do with its own proprietary approach to hotspot offloading to free hotspots, or whether AT&T might cooperate with other carriers.
In a statement, the alliance said: "It would be possible for a proprietary solution to accomplish similar functionality to Passpoint, but only on an operator's own network with a specific set of equipment ...The long-term view of Passpoint's value is that as a standard solution available on multiple operator networks and a wide diversity of equipment, it is an essential element of realizing the 'cellular-like' experience while roaming, [including] access to the services of your home provider while connecting through a partner's hotspot. This would also give providers the ability to reach their subscribers [in] more places, including in their home, and more options about how to provide services short of building their own networks."
Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is email@example.com.
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