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Wireless Group Plots Wi-Fi Resurgence As 3G/4G Alternative

Wireless hotspots may be increasingly used in the future to complement 3G and 4G services, as dozens of companies, including some of the world's biggest telecommunications companies, are meeting up in Paris next week to discuss plans to start trials for Next Generation Hotspot technology, during an event organised by the Wireless Broadband Alliance (opens in new tab).

The NGH aims at providing a cellular-like, secure and seamless auto-authentication and connectivity experience on home and roaming partners’ networks through commercial frameworks such as WRiX (Wireless Roaming Intermediary Exchange).

In other words, providing an elegant alternative solution to 3G and 4G while addressing important issues like Wi-Fi roaming and interoperability, as well as Wi-Fi to Wimax and 3G to Wi-Fi data offload.

Intriguingly, one of the themes that will be discussed at the conference is how Wi-Fi can outperform other wireless services (3G and 4G) when it comes to ease and security of access.

Next Generation Hotspots are seen as pivotal to allow mobile phone operators to deliver optimum QoS to their customers as mobile data consumption grows exponentially thanks to smartphones and tablets.

Cisco's Visual Networking Index notes that global mobile data nearly tripled for the third year in a row last year, and is expected to increase by 26 times by 2015.

The global mobile data traffic by then will have reached a staggering 75 exabytes, six times the estimated amount of human produced information in 1999.

The announcement of the NGH trial coincides with Apple's preview a few days ago of its iCloud cloud-based solution, which is set to put immense strain on public and private wireless access points.

The Wireless Broadband Alliance - which is currently chaired by Chris Bruce, CEO, BT Openzone - will also welcome 17 new members during the event, including: China Mobile, India's Aircel, Spain's Gowex, Japan's Softbank, Time Warner Cable and SMART Communications.

Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.