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Chris Spencer, Chief Technology Officer, GlobalReach Technology
In the past, users of Wi-Fi networks had to search for and choose a network to connect to. Then, each and every time, they had to request a connection to the access point (AP) and, in many cases, re-enter their authentication credentials. Now, as Chris Spencer explains, with HotSpot 2.0 (aka Next Generation Hot Spot or Passpoint) the entire ponderous process has been streamlined and simplified to enable seamless connection between hotspot networks and mobile devices, all while delivering the highest WPA2 security. What the HotSpot 2.0 standard will do is enable a much more "cellular-like" experience for users when connecting to Wi-Fi networks.
However, as Chris Spencer points out, currently the industry is still in the HotSpot Release 1 phase and that is causing a few problems even as HotSpot 2.0 begins to be rolled out. As far as carriers are concerned, things are straightforward because their networks and processes can provide easy 'on-boarding' but enterprise customers are being frustrated because, for them, on-boarding remains a major bugbear. That's because Release 1 of HotSpot necessarily focused on networking and backend infrastructure and providing a seamless environment for security and authentication. In comparison, HotSpot 2.0 concentrates on client profiles, policy and remediation and, in due course, this will be a boon to the enterprise sector.
Chris Spencer is a firm believer in the benefits of designing and following roadmaps to guide technologies and companies along the way and to ensure complete control of an end-to-end Wi-Fi ecosystem. However, he also believes that roadmaps should come in three parts, Short-Term (covering a period of 90 days), Medium-Term (valid for a year) and Long-Term (applicable when the Short-Term and Medium-Term periods have expired. After all, transition takes time and and a modular roadmap is a great help along the way.
Filmed at Wireless Global Congress, London 2018