A new initiative between the GSMA and the Wireless Broadband Alliance could allow billions of mobile device users the ability to switch between mobile and Wifi networks on the fly, without having to locate hotspots or enter passwords. Today's announcement verifies that both organizations are committed to the development of a technical and commercial infrastructure for Wifi roaming, which would use a mobile SIM card to authenticate a user, without any manual passwords.
In theory, the user would benefit from faster internet speeds, and mobile providers would be able to monitor what type of network a user is on, at any given time. This would afford mobile operators the ability to offload data to various wireless networks, and surely pass on savings to mobile clients. Right.
The Wifi roaming initiative would incorporate the WBA's Next Generation Hotspot program, as well as the Wifi Alliance's Passport Certification technology. So far, a common agenda has been agreed upon, but both agencies still have to sort out guidelines on keeping security, billing, data offload, device implementation and network selection consistent.
Worldwide, the initiative could help billions of smartphone and tablet users a possibly better way to connect to the internet with their mobile devices. Especially if they are in the vicinity of a Homeless Hotspot.