But while Passpoint-certified devices are set to hit the market this summer, it's so far unclear just how many major wireless carriers will support the initiative. So far T-Mobile has been the only major wireless carrier to publicly commit to supporting Passpoint-certified gear and devices. Verizon Vice President of Network Hans Leutenegger said today that he didn't know of any Verizon commitment to deploy Passpoint and generally expressed skepticism about the idea of forging Wi-Fi roaming agreements with other carriers.
"Once we put our customer onto someone else's Wi-Fi network we don't know what their experience is going to be, so our preference has been to keep customers on our network," he said. "If we can't control the customer experience and they have a bad experience then we can't get that customer back."
Even so, Figueroa said that as companies come to depend more on Wi-Fi to offload the data on their 3G and 4G networks, they'll come to see Wi-Fi roaming agreements as an important component of network management.
"Wi-Fi and Passpoint are very compelling for operators because they have data demand issues," he said. "Lots of data show that consumers are also interested in having something like it as well."
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