Feeds

WiFi Alliance pimping Passpoint

Make public hotspots easier to use, bake DRM into kit

Top three mobile application threats

The WiFi Alliance’s Passpoint program is finally set to arrive in devices, with the organization announcing that the first kit certified to use Passpoint will start shipping next month.

The Alliance will also begin certifying hotpsot providers in June.

Passpoint is designed to make public WiFi more easily accessible to users, by eliminating the irritating process of discovery, followed by a hotspot-specific login, required before the roaming user can access a network.

It’s a potential boon for mobile carriers, since today, a user roaming off a 3G network to a WiFi hotspot represents lost revenue.

The initial certifications will cover network discovery and selection, automatic connection based on different credentials – such as SIM-based authentication – and automatic authentication and security using WPA2-Enterprise. During 2013, the organization plans to certify specifications for instant account provisioning, and policy management specific to operators.

The aim, the alliance says, is to roll out Passpoint-certified hotspots that let users connect to public hotspots without having to go through the common browser-based interface. Instead, with certified kit in place – and as long as the hotspot operator and user’s carrier have an agreement in place – a WiFi-enabled smartphone user would be able to connect automatically and have their hotspot usage billed back to a carrier.

Supported EAP security measures will include EAP-TLS (using a trusted root certificate), EAP-SIM (user authenticated by their SIM credentials), EAP Authentication and Key Agreement (EAP-AKA, using the client’s USIM) or using Microsoft’s CHAPv2 (username and password using server-side certificates).

The Alliance says Passpoint will, in particular, make it easier to connect “browserless” devices to public hotspots – so, for example, a WiFi-enabled camera would be able to connect to a public Passpoint-supporting hotspot.

There is, as always, a sting in the tail: Passpoint is also designed to enable DRM over WiFi hotspots – so, according to the WiFi Alliance, that providers can verify the identity and access rights of subscribers so as to deliver them the right content. Oh, and guess what: as Passpoint-certified kit makes its way into homes, it will bring DRM enforcement with it. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.