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Hotspot 2.0 for SA

Ruckus Networks has been named a preferred provider for VAST Networks in South Africa, the largest public Wi-Fi provider on the continent to roll out Hotspot 2.0 technology that simplifies Wi-Fi roaming for customers.

“Most people do not even think twice when it comes to roaming on their mobile devices when they travel, but given the pressure of tighter budgets, roaming costs are a growing concern,” says Riaan Graham sales director for Ruckus Networks, sub-Saharan Africa. “Most wireless users prefer to connect to a hotspot whenever they can as a way of keeping those expenses to a minimum. The challenge is finding and selecting the right network, logging on through a portal, and repeating the process every time a new hotspot is accessed.”

Hotspot 2.0 technology or Wi-Fi Certified Passpoint is designed to change this.

Mobile network operators are looking for a more efficient method for 3G data offload to reflect customer usage patterns. Hotspot 2.0 allows users to connect their mobile devices using pre-loaded credentials and security certificates. This means that any time someone is away from their home network provider, the device automatically checks for Hotspot 2.0 access points with participating roaming partners. If available, the device connects without any user intervention required.

The infrastructure is also designed to enable non-interactive devices – such as televisions, digital billboards, and embedded media players– to connect to Wi-Fi without human intervention.

“Ruckus has worked continent-wide providing solutions for virtually any scenario or customer requirement. The collaboration with VAST combines our extensive experience to offer a truly innovative solution to overcome a challenge with which many mobile operators and consumers struggle. We ensure that the Hotspot 2.0 network remains completely secure to give the peace-of-mind that data is kept safe,” continued Graham.

Khetan Gajjar, chief technical officer at VAST Networks, says it was imperative to identify a company that shared its passion for connecting people in a digital environment.

“With Ruckus Networks, we’re able to continuously explore different methods of authenticating and onboarding users to our network with incremental effort. The ability to conduct equipment upgrades, implement network optimisations, and deploy Hotspot 2.0 in over 2,000 locations in a matter of weeks, is testament to our network’s flexibility in supporting emerging technologies with minimal lag time,” says Gajjar.

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