Someday you will be able to get Wi-Fi without any log in or passwords. You might have heard about why AT&T was trying to buy the third largest wireless carrier, T-Mobile, and was turned down by regulators. They ended up paying $4 billion to the owner, German Telephone, for backing out of it. Why were they so eager to spend $38 billion to buy their competitor? It comes down to spectrum and how much capability they have to deliver video, audio and data over cellphones. It’s a big problem–with each new iPhone and Android smartphone activation, there is less capability to deliver what customers are paying for. So they need to get more of it.
But there is a new solution on the horizon called Passpoint Initiative that will benefit everyone, not just big Telcos. It’s a new program being rolled in July out that will allow people to access hotspots in cafes, private homes and hotels without having to log in and type a password. It will even be seamless so you’ll be able to access while you drive…just like on the Megabus! The hotspots will be secure, no fear of hacking, but it won’t take any of today’s annoying log ins. It will use the phone’s SIM card to store a permanent log in for anywhere and secure the connection.
“Simple authentication and roaming will likely be welcomed by carriers who are trying to offload as much cellular traffic as possible to Wi-Fi networks; whether they’re networks run by the carriers or by third parties, such as Boingo. And the SIM approach offers a method to provide operator-specific controls for partner networks. Phase two of Passpoint, planned for 2013, will add streamlined account provisioning for Wi-Fi as well.”
Ideally, the days of using splash screens or login apps for Wi-Fi access will diminish with Passpoint.