Passpoint aligns with a WPA2 Enterprise network, or a Passpoint-enabled hotspot, and automatically authenticates the user using a SIM card from their wireless provider. This eliminates the need to authenticate access points manually. The Wi-Fi profile is stored on your SIM via encrypted storage. Hotspots that have been configured with Passpoint have a Passpoint logo displayed next to their SSID.

 

Passpoint is an alliance created by the WiFi Alliance, the organization behind Wi-Fi, and cellular carriers around the world. The goal of Passpoint is to provide seamless connectivity between hotspots and cellular networks. There are currently over 1 million Passpoint hotspots with major carriers in countries included South Korea, Japan, United States, and European countries like Germany. This number is growing rapidly as more devices support this technology.

 

What Kind Of Hotspot Do I Need?



Wi-Fi devices that support Passpoint automatically connect to Passpoint hotspots without user intervention (assuming they're within range). You don't need any special hardware, but you will need a SIM card from your wireless service provider that has been activated for Passpoint.

 

Does Passpoint Require a Hotspot?

Passpoint can be applied to any hotspot, but the need for a SIM card makes it only useful to consumers who pay for cellular data or use an MVNO that supports Passpoint authentication. To support Passpoint, you'll need a hotspot with the latest firmware and hardware version as well as supporting IPv6. In addition, if you don't have a device capable of using MPPE encryption (most tablets), you will not be able to connect via IPsec on some networks. You also must be within range of a network that is enabled with Passpoint. If none of those conditions apply, then Passpoint is useless.

 

How Do I Find Passpoint Hotspots?



Passpoint hotspot finders are available for all popular desktop and mobile operating systems. They provide a list of Passpoint hotspots in your immediate area, show you which ones are open to non-members, display the SSID name, signal strength, security type used (if any), and whether or not they are encrypted by WEP. Some providers require passwords before you can connect to their Passpoint network. If this is the case, you will need to enter it into the device manually after finding the network on your passport finder app. For example, if you're looking for Passpoint hotspots near San Francisco, open Google Maps on your Android device and click on the "Hotspots" button. Google Maps will display a list of Passpoint hotspots in your area, along with their signal strength and SSID name - assuming they support open networks.

When a user first accesses a Wi-Fi network at a certain location, the Passpoint-enabled client device will automatically connect on subsequent visits. This eliminates the need for users to search for and select a network, request Wi-Fire access, and reenter authentication credentials each time they visit. Passpoint automates the entire process so that connecting between Wi-Fi networks and mobile devices is more seamless while also providing business security levels.

End users will not need to carry out any manual configuration, just use the Passpoint client app that is built into their device or available for download from an application store.

For example, when a user with a Passpoint-enabled mobile phone walks by a Passpoint hotspot and receives a welcome message from the network, they can click on connect and be securely authenticated and associated with the existing IP infrastructure in about one second. This eliminates the need to install and maintain expensive WLAN infrastructure and client-side certificates, therefore reducing operational costs while also increasing security levels.

Where Is Passpoint Being Used?



Passpoint is moving toward becoming a globally accepted Wi-Fi roaming standard. Currently, the following carriers and service providers have either deployed or are in the process of deploying Passpoint networks: AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Globe Telecom, Orange SA, Rogers Communications, SaskTel, Sprint Nextel, TDC, Telus Mobility/KDDI AU/Eastlink Wireless, Unité Spéciale Mobile (USM - Pan African Mobile Network), Verizon Wireless and Vodafone. Look out for more news soon as this list will expand rapidly over the next few months. As technology companies continue to work together via programs like AllSeen Alliance, Passpoint may be available for use on your existing device through either native support or an adapter, such as the Roku Streaming Stick.

 

Conclusion

Passpoint is a revolutionary way to connect users to Wi-Fi, but it's up to the industry as a whole to provide this service. Currently, Passpoint hotspots are limited in number and availability. However, with time and support from manufacturers across the globe, look for more networks to adopt this technology which will benefit everyone who uses today's mobile devices.