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Published on May 22nd, 2015 | by Alexis Argent

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Ruckus Wireless Redefines Secure and Seamless Public WiFi Access with Release 2 of Hotspot 2.0

First Commercially Available Products Supporting Hotspot 2.0 Release 2 Help Operators and Enterprises Simplify, Secure and Transform the WiFi Connection Experience

Ruckus Wireless have announced the introduction of the industry’s first commercially available products to be Wi-Fi Alliance (WFA) Passpoint certified for Hotspot 2.0, Release 2, effectively transforming how organizations offer and users securely connect to new public WiFi network services.

With Release 2 support of Hotspot 2.0, Ruckus Smart WiFi products now provide a standardized framework for how user credentials are created, configured and administered to client devices in a secure manner—streamlining and securing the client provisioning, and delivering the industry’s first integrated Hotspot 2.0, Release 2 online signup and provisioning server wireless LAN (WLAN) solution.

Though the industry has developed proprietary methods to load credentials onto WiFi enabled devices, these often come with additional cost and complexity, without providing airlink encryption. Hotspot 2.0, Release 2 fundamentally changes this with WPA2 encryption, while providing a way for users to know they are connecting to a trusted entity.

Operators and enterprises can offer users the ability to easily sign up to connect to WiFi services in a simple and secure fashion using a standards based method for automatically loading credentials and mobile configuration parameters onto WiFi devices, while enabling vital airlink encryption. Despite WiFi’s popularity, connecting to public networks or hotspots can still often be frustrating and subject to security concerns, due to the lack of encryption and the inability for a client device to validate the public network or hotspot.

Several strong growth factors are feeding the rapid acceleration of the WiFi market and Hotspot 2.0 is clearly one of them,” said Richard Webb, research director for mobile backhaul and small cells at Infonetics Research, now part of IHS. “By simplifying and securing the client connection experience while providing seamless roaming between disparate WiFi networks, we expect that Hotspot 2.0 will have a profoundly positive impact that will drive a new stage of WiFi deployments.

According to its biannual Carrier WiFi Equipment report, in the second half of 2014, Infonetics (now part of IHS) again identified Ruckus Wireless as the global carrier WiFi market share leader by revenue, which was also the case in the first half of 2014, making Ruckus the leader overall, by revenue, for all of 2014 with 21 percent market share. Infonetics/IHS forecasts this market will reach over $2.6B (USD) by 2019.

Ruckus Hotspot 2.0, Release 2 – Ready for Prime Time

To achieve Hotspot 2.0, Release 2 WFA Passpoint certification, several Ruckus ZoneFlex™ indoor and outdoor access points (APs), including the ZoneFlex 7372, ZoneFlex T300 Series, and ZoneFlex R700,as well as the Ruckus SmartCell™ Gateway (SCG) 200, have all demonstrated interoperability with other Passpoint-certified equipment.

Unlike competitive solutions that require customers to purchase multiple products, Ruckus now integrates within a single software solution, a WLAN controller as well as an online signup and provisioning server to deliver all the essential services to support Hotspot 2.0, Release 2.

Additionally, the Ruckus online sign up system enables the next generation of ‘Bring-Your-Own-Device’ (BYOD), with the unique ability to use social media logins, including Facebook, Linkedin and Google, with Hotspot 2.0, Release 2 protocols, as well as support for enterprise-class authentication methods using LDAP, Active Director and AAA servers. This allows social login or any enterprise credentials to be automatically provisioned to the device, so users don’t have to continually login when connecting to a Hotspot 2.0, Release 2 capable network. With this support, Ruckus is able to provide a single solution that supports legacy (Hotspot 2.0, Release 1) as well as emerging (Release 2) devices on the same network.

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