The Interoperability Compliance Program (ICP): a major step towards seamless Wi-Fi roaming
Public Wi-Fi is increasingly being viewed by operators as an essential component for mobile connectivity. However, some fragmentation still remains in the way devices connect and roam on to Wi-Fi networks. That’s why the launch of the WBA’s Interoperability Compliance Program (ICP) is such a significant event. The ICP is an initiative that will make it easier for operators globally to work together on a common set of technical and commercial frameworks for Wi-Fi roaming.
The ICP will help operators overcome the remaining barriers to effective connection and roaming by working together to align guidelines on
- data offload
- device authentication
- network implementation and selection
- charging models
- billing mechanisms
How will the ICP do this? Firstly, through the creation of compliancy guidelines for operators with different support levels. These range from simple integration requirements for roaming partners, to delivering support for the latest in customer authentication, to more complex charging models and billing mechanisms for the implementation of Next Generation Hotspot (NGH) networks.
The ICP promotes and advocates the adoption of a common set of requirements and procedures for Wi-Fi roaming. This will make it easier for operators both to understand how to integrate their networks to support roaming and to enter into roaming agreements…
…and a little extra help
To reinforce the effectiveness of the ICP, the WBA is making available to its operator members a tool called Wi-Fi Roaming Compliancy Check. This is to be used by operators to promote their compliancy and roaming capabilities in the community. The WBA has also released its Wi-Fi Roaming Guidelines, a guide to help operators develop a Wi-Fi roaming business based on the WBA framework, WRIX (Wireless Roaming Intermediary Exchange).
But it’s also up to you
The program is open to the entire WBA membership. If you want to join an initiative that already includes many of the key global players in the Wi-Fi ecosystem, contact member services.