Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Passpoint: Why is it required for hotspots?

In our homes/offices, we just need to authenticate with the Wi-Fi network once. After that, we don’t need to authenticate every time we connect to the Wi-Fi network as the computer automatically registers with Wi-Fi network once we switch it on. But this is not possible in public Wi-Fi hotspots, where we need to enter our authentication credentials (username/password) every time we want to connect to the network. Of course, we may visit different public hotspots at different locations, not just one.

The Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Passpoint standard enables people/devices to automatically connect to public Wi-Fi hotspots without browser-based user authentication. However, users/devices are authenticated in the background via their SIM info, certificates or username/password, without end-user intervention.

The Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Passpoint maybe required to provide a better/seamless user experience to users in public hotspots and might encourage them to use the Wi-Fi networks, more. End users get just one set of credentials/account for accessing multiple hotspot networks, which is easier for them to manage.

Devices (such as Wi-Fi Access Points) certified by Wi-Fi Alliance as Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Passpoint compliant can automatically associate users with Wi-Fi networks, authenticate, manage security settings and do everything else required for this process in the background, without user intervention.

All Passpoint connections are secured using the highly-secure WPA2-Enterprise (provided the access points and client devices support this protocol). This standard also makes it possible for certain Wi-Fi devices (like eReaders, cameras or embedded car-devices) that don’t have a built-in browser, to connect to public hotspot networks.

Passpoint also allows service providers to authenticate devices before providing them with DRM-protected premium content, in any location – home, office or at a public hotspot. Passpoint enabled hotspots also allow service providers to offer roaming in each others hotspot networks if both the networks are Passpoint compliant and the service providers already have mutual agreements on roaming policies (including billing, etc.).

Read more/Reference: Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Passpoint white paper from Wi-Fi Alliance.

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  • Vishak

    How does the the roaming works? I mean i have signed with various service providers and I moved from one place to another how the authentication takes place at the background and how roaming works?

    Please explain