Hotspot 2.0 is a WiFi Alliance standard that allows for seamless discovery and authentication in WiFi networks. With this technology, users authenticate on WiFi networks using the credentials stored on their SIM cards. The experience is similar to roaming in a foreign mobile network., and users do not any longer have to buy scratch cards or enter their credit card details on a website.

 Hotspot 2.0 is based on a combination of several existing standards, like 802.11x for authorization and 802.11i for encryption, but several network nodes—like a discovery server— are new. There is also a requirement for an interworking gateway that converts the Radius AAA messages to SS7 or Diameter. The mobile devices use the authorization keys that are present on their SIM cards, and connect with the subscriber data stored in the mobile network's database.

Dialogic's Diameter Services Helix router plays a key role in this architecture. It has native Radius, Diameter and SS7 support, and enables WiFi hotspot providers to connect their network to the mobile network operator's subscriber databases and policy elements. With this advanced interworking and service orchestration, we can quickly adapt the signaling interworking.

Multiple devices with Hotspot 2.0 technology are now available, such as Apple products running iOS 7 and some Samsung devices. With MNOs and WiFi providers now starting to implement the core infrastructure, many mobile device users will be able to enjoy seamless WiFi roaming.

We see Hotspot 2.0 as one of the tools operators can use to keep up with the ever-growing capacity demands of mobile subscribers. It will also increase ARPU and customer retention. Due to the seamless network discovery and sign on this technology is also highly beneficial to users.

 Want to learn more about Dialogic’s Diameter Services Helix? Check it out here.