Since the initial concept was developed in 2002, eduroam has been at the forefront of open Wi-Fi access. Its federated authorisation structure and security by design have enabled the service to grow rapidly and scale to incredible levels. From an initial pilot of six partners, eduroam is now available in 106 territories around the world as far apart as Greenland and Argentina, Alaska and New Zealand.
It supports access through over 60,000 hotspots and authenticates over 4 billion national and international roaming connections every year. This is a fantastic example of research and education collaboration on a global scale helping millions of students, staff and researchers work wherever they are.
The success of eduroam, and in particular its ability to support large-scale federated authentications and complex heterogenous physical infrastructures has been an exemplar for a range of similar concepts around the world including govroam and cityroam. This is why eduroam is proud to be a launch partner within the Wireless Broadband Alliance OpenRoaming initiative. WBA OpenRoaming opens the door to create one global Wi-Fi network
On 28 May 2020, The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) invited all organisations in the Wi-Fi ecosystem to join WBA OpenRoaming™ and become part of a globally available Wi-Fi federation that offers an automatic and secure connection of billions of devices to millions of Wi-Fi networks. WBA OpenRoaming provides a new global standards-led approach, removing public-guest Wi-Fi connectivity barriers
and bringing greater convenience and security to the wireless ecosystem. WBA OpenRoaming removes the need to search for Wi-Fi networks, to repeatedly enter or create login credentials, or to constantly reconnect or re-register to public Wi-Fi.
For organisations and businesses, WBA OpenRoaming™ provides the opportunity to create new commercial business models and innovative services with speed and simplicity.
Declaring WBA OpenRoaming as “open for business” WBA CEO Tiago Rodrigues said: “Wi-Fi is already arguably the most successful wireless technology of our time, but with these globally agreed standards and policies, we can take public-guest Wi-Fi to another
level in terms of ease-of-use and global availability. The WBA OpenRoaming creates an open framework for all types of players to join and develop their Wi-Fi services and create new business opportunities. We invite venues, vendors and operator/identity providers to join
WBA OpenRoaming and revolutionise Wi-Fi usage around the world.”
WBA OpenRoaming simplifies Wi-Fi, much like the cellular roaming experience. Companies who join WBA OpenRoaming can allow end users to automatically connect on any Wi-Fi network managed by a federation member. No more SSID-password guessing games, insecure login credentials or reconnecting to public Wi-Fi. From enterprises to coffee shops, concert venues to connected cars, WBA OpenRoaming creates a world where Wi-Fi users move from one network to another without needing to constantly re-register or sign-in.
The pioneering companies – members of WBA – supporting the WBA OpenRoaming standards include: Airmesh, Airties, Aprecomm, American Tower, Aptilo, AT&T, Boingo Wireless, Broadcom Inc, Cisco, Cityroam, Comcast, Commscope, Deutsche Telekom, Eduroam, elevenSoftware, GlobalReachTechnology, Google, GoZone Wi-Fi, Hub One, Hughes Systique Corp, Intel Corporation, IT&E, m3connect, Nomosphere, Orange, Purple Wi-Fi, Samsung, Single Digits, Sun Global, Veniam, WifiCoin and Zephyrtel.
Together these companies provide Wi-Fi services that reach billions of people and things. WBA OpenRoaming defines the industry policies and standards that will manage the federation. The WBA OpenRoaming framework and standards are based on the following features:
- Cloud federation, consisting of a global database of networks and identities, dynamic discovery and the Wireless Roaming Intermediary Exchange (WRIX).
- Cyber security, consisting of Public Key Infrastructure and RadSec providing the certificate policy,management and brokerage services.
- Network automation, facilitated by an automated roaming consortium framework and policy and Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Passpoint®.
Companies who join WBA OpenRoaming are included in a federation of identity and network providers. Equipment vendors, identity providers, venues and operators – as well as private and public Wi-Fi networks – can join WBA OpenRoaming™ and immediately become part of the global ecosystem and help to shape the future of the federation.
eduroam Helps Provide Critical Connectivity across the USA During COVID-19
The nationwide shuttering of schools and businesses and stay-at-home orders have made network connectivity more important than ever to educational institutions, particularly those with staff and student populations who are under-served by existing broadband solutions or might also be economically disadvantaged.
Over the last several weeks many colleges, schools, and universities have, in compliance with state and local social distancing ordinances, made spaces such as building exteriors and parking lots available as eduroam-enabled hotspots for their communities. As Internet2 continues to work towards development of programs to serve regional and state networks with wider deployments of eduroam, we are also looking for ways to support existing eduroam connectors as they experiment with short term solutions like this in a sustainable way.