San Francisco and San Jose Create the First Large-Scale Municipal Hotspot 2.0 Service with Ruckus Wireless and Global Reach
Landmark Effort Gives Millions of Bay Area Residents and Visitors Secure, Automatic Connections and Seamless Connectivity with San Francisco and San Jose Free Wi-Fi Services
SUNNYVALE, CA – June 30, 2014 – Ruckus Wireless, Inc. (NYSE: RKUS) today announced a major initiative with the City and County of San Francisco, the City of San José, CA and Global Reach Technology to create the first large-scale municipal Hotspot 2.0 service that allows millions of visitors and residents to automatically and securely connect to and seamlessly roam using San José and San Francisco free Wi-Fi services. The new Hotspot 2.0 service is now live and operational.
An innovative approach to providing public Wi-Fi access, Hotspot 2.0 is a new technology specification developed by members of the Wi-Fi Alliance (WFA) that radically simplifies and automates how users securely connect to and roam between Wi-Fi networks without requiring users to manually select a network or sign-on.
Leveraging new Hotspot 2.0 technology, users in San Francisco and San José now can enjoy seamless and secure Wi-Fi data connectivity that mirrors today’s cellular experience, with the added benefit of working on Wi-Fi-only devices such as tablets and laptops. The initial Bay Area Wi-Fi Hotspot 2.0 deployment supports Hotspot 2.0 enabled iOS 7 devices (iPhone 5/5s/5c, iPad 3, iPad Mini, iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, and iPod Touch 5th Gen) as well as Apple laptops running OS X Mavericks.
“With the adoption of Hotspot 2.0, we are literally transforming the user Wi-Fi experience,” said Vijay Sammeta, Chief Information Officer for the City of San José. “Hotspot 2.0 makes our infrastructure smarter by eliminating tedious and cumbersome device configuration. Now people can securely connect to and roam using our networks in a transparent fashion. Things don’t get much easier.”
“People want their devices to automatically connect to trusted Wi-Fi networks whenever they are in range, and to use strong encryption as well,” said Marc Touitou, Chief Information Officer for the City of San Francisco. “This is precisely what we have achieved.”
“With unprecedented cooperation, we have developed the world’s largest municipal deployment of Hotspot 2.0 technology that is open to the public and available to anyone with a supported device,” added Flavio Aggio, Chief Technology Officer for the Department of Technology of the City of San Francisco. “With this Hotspot 2.0 network in place, we expect more and more peering with other network and authentication providers which will allow us to realize our collective vision for global Wi-Fi roaming.”
Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi equipment, which has been Passpoint™ Certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance, is being used to power the new Hotspot 2.0 service across both the San Jose and San Francisco Wi-Fi networks. Simple device provisioning and unified authentication services are being provided through a cloud-based system operated by Global Reach, a Ruckus technology partner.
The Global Reach software platform includes the AAA servers (Authentication, Authorization and Accounting), Hotspot 2.0 device detection, and landing pages with the Hotspot 2.0 token. The Hotspot 2.0 provisioning feature, developed by Global Reach, configures devices with an ‘anonymous’ credential which is used to automatically connect to any network honoring the credential and is also a component in the process used to generate the encryption keys for the secure connection.
Users simply click to connect securely. Global Reach then provides each user device with a one-time provisioning file that automatically configures the requisite Wi-Fi settings and encryption without any human intervention. Once a guest registers and is provisioned with the Hotspot 2.0 credential, they can automatically and securely connect to either of the cities’ WLAN infrastructures whenever they are in range.
Making Public Wi-Fi Simpler and Safer to Use
Historically, to connect to a Wi-Fi hotspot, users have had to perform the arduous task of manually selecting from a number of Wi-Fi networks that may or may not be able to provide them service, and then perform the tedious process of navigating through a ‘portal’ page before having access to their services.
Using Hotspot 2.0, information advertised by Smart Wi-Fi infrastructure tells devices how to automatically connect to the Wi-Fi network if they possess a credential accepted at that hotspot. The credential itself can be a SIM card, a security certificate, or a username and password that Wi-Fi operators agree to accept for authenticating users on their networks.
Hotspot 2.0-capable devices automatically and securely join a Wi-Fi Hotspot 2.0 service whenever the user enters the service area. Using Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Passpoint devices, Hotspot 2.0 also enables seamless roaming between Wi-Fi networks that share roaming agreements.
According to San José and the City of San Francisco, the new Hotspot 2.0 service may also be made open to other organizations looking to establish Wi-Fi roaming agreements with either or both cities.
The new Hotspot 2.0 infrastructure gives users the option to register for the free Hotspot 2.0 service if they choose, or if they decline, the ability to stay on the existing, unencrypted service.
To ensure complete user privacy, the two cities are using anonymous credentials. Each user who elects to use the Hotspot 2.0 service for either Wi-Fi network is issued a credential without having to provide any information such as an email address or name.
About the City of San José
Known as the Capital of Silicon Valley, San José is the nation’s tenth largest city and the largest city in Northern California with an ethnically diverse population of more than one million people. San José was founded in 1777, once served as the state capital of California, and now encompasses 180 square miles. Facts about San José can be found here: http://www.sanjoseca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/780. The City’s website is www.sanjoseca.gov.
About the City of San Francisco
The only consolidated city-county in California, San Francisco encompasses a land area of about 46.9 square miles (121 km2) on the northern end of the San Francisco Peninsula, giving it a density of about 17,620 people per square mile (6,803 people per km2). It is the most densely settled large city (population greater than 200,000) in the state of California and the second-most densely populated major city in the United States after New York City. San Francisco is the fourth most populous city in California, after Los Angeles, San Diego and San Jose, and the 14th most populous city in the United States—with a Census-estimated 2012 population of 825,863. The city is also the financial and cultural hub of the larger San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland combined statistical area, with a population of 8.4 million.
About Global Reach Technology
Global Reach Technology is a leading innovator of scalable cloud-based Wi-Fi software solutions. The Odyssys Wi-Fi software has been built by an in-house team of experts based on their extensive experience of developing, deploying and managing award winning services. It has been designed and developed to meet today’s market demands from clients, including personalization to brand, location-awareness and integration with social media. The Odyssys platform also provides an advanced set of analytics tools, giving network owners real-time customer insights and enabling them to attract and retain customers as well as manage commercial and operational costs. With its hardware-agnostic and cloud-based technology, customers are able to very easily integrate 3rd party plug-ins and monetize and monitor their Wi-Fi offering, allowing service providers and enterprises to swiftly roll out customized wireless or wired networks. Global Reach’s customers include solutions for airports, shopping centers, hospitals, universities, stadiums and retailers as well as other key transportation hubs; with Wi-Fi network deployments in UK, Europe, USA, Asia and Australasia For more information, visit http://www.globalreach.eu.com.
About Ruckus Wireless
Headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA, Ruckus Wireless, Inc. (NYSE: RKUS) is a global supplier of advanced wireless systems for the rapidly expanding mobile Internet infrastructure market. The company offers a wide range of indoor and outdoor “Smart Wi-Fi” products to mobile carriers, broadband service providers, and corporate enterprises, and has over 36,000 end-customers worldwide. Ruckus technology addresses Wi-Fi capacity and coverage challenges caused by the ever-increasing amount of traffic on wireless networks due to accelerated adoption of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Ruckus invented and has patented state-of-the-art wireless voice, video, and data technology innovations, such as adaptive antenna arrays that extend signal range, increase client data rates, and avoid interference, providing consistent and reliable distribution of delay-sensitive multimedia content and services over standard 802.11 Wi-Fi. For more information, visit http://www.ruckuswireless.com.
Ruckus, and Ruckus Wireless are trademarks of Ruckus Wireless, Inc. in the United States and other countries. All other product or company names may be trademarks of their respective owners.