BT, Sky and TalkTalk to trial next-generation hotspots
BT, Sky and TalkTalk are among the major telecoms firms set to take part in trials of next-generation wireless hotspots.
The pilot scheme, run by the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA), aims to deliver a far greater choice of public Wi-Fi access points to users around the world.
Trials are set to start in the fourth quarter of 2012 and the WBA expects the first deployments of next-generation hotspots (NGHs) to begin in the first half of 2013.
NGHs will utilise Wi-Fi Certified Passpoint equipment, which has just won approval from the Wi-Fi Alliance. The technology allows consumers to connect their devices to wireless networks without the need to enter passwords or usernames.
Operator-to-operator billing methods will also be trialled to ensure that telecoms firms are suitably compensated for carrying each other's customers.
Shrikant Shenwai, chief executive of the WBA, said: "Many of the world's largest operators are now set to put the first standards-based hotspot equipment through its paces in the most extensive trials ever conducted later this year."
The announcement comes shortly after a Sky Broadband study revealed that 41 per cent of consumers have logged on to a public Wi-Fi network in the past month.