iOS 7 Will Make It Possible To Roam Between Open Wi-Fi Networks Without Your Data Ever Dropping

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Wandering between public Wi-Fi networks and never having your service interrupted, the same way you can walk in and out of the range of local cellular towers and never have your signal drop. That’s the dream for Wi-Fi, and with iOS 7, Apple’s going to help make it happen.

The eagle-eyed folks over at Ars Technica noticed a slot in Apple’s keynote on Monday that iOS 7 will support Hotspot 2.0.

What’s Hotspot 2.0?

Hotspot 2.0 is the technology specification behind the Wi-Fi Alliance’s Passpoint certification program. As we wrote last year, the goal of Passpoint is to create a Wi-Fi extension of cellular networks, making it easier for service providers to offload traffic and give users faster Internet connections. Instead of typing in a password, a user could authenticate to the network automatically by virtue of owning a device with a SIM card. Passpoint-enabled devices within range of a Passpoint-supporting hotspot would automatically join it and get the benefit of WPA2 security.

The problem is adoption, not just by manufacturers like Apple, but by carriers and providers like AT&T, Verizon, Boingo, Comcast, Time Warner and more. Let’s hope they feel a bit more encouraged to do so now that every iPhone, iPad and iPod touch will ship with the ability.

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  • joewaylo

    Not just adoption but greed. Hotspots are rare in most cities and adopting from old tech to new tech is costly. Comcast WiFi for example only lets you have the free WiFi for a limited time, then cost $90 a month to use their high speed service.

  • Eric

    I see this going the way of SIRI. Potential, but never truly there…even after 2 years. lol

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John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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