RealTime IT News

A WISP Association Is Born

A new WISP Association called Pass-One was quietly announced yesterday. Pass-One's founding 'Plenary' meeting is scheduled for June 14th in Boston, at a venue where WISPs will be able to enjoy roaming services in a WLAN covered venue.

Pass-One was founded by five WISPs and five WLAN vendors with the ultimate goal of boosting the WLAN hotspot business and promoting one global 'service mark.' At a time when both small and large hotspot businesses are beginning to boom, these providers and vendors decided that the most cost-effective way of expanding the network of hotspots is to offer roaming between them.

While the technical details of roaming between WLANs are still being worked out to provide the most seamless experience for the user, the need for industry agreements on the service level became increasingly apparent. Because of this, WISPs, vendors, and GSM cellular carriers have decided to create a central entity that provides these required standards and at the same time offer consolidated administrative services to all Pass-One members.

Pass-One stated that its mission is to create one global end-user experience by implementing minimum service standards, certifying compliance of its members' networks, and promoting WISPs as premium global wireless broadband providers.

The Association plans to create a single global service mark, similar to those used in the credit card industry, so that end-users recognize compliant organizations.

Pass-One stated that it plans to organize the WISP community around a single legal entity that will enable the enforcement of a service level in the industry.

Members of Pass-One include ISPs, cellular carriers, and fixed line telcos with public WLAN services. Current founding members include: Wayport Inc., Symbol Technologies, Nomadix, Funk Software, OpenPoint Networks, Wificom, FatPort Corp., Tele2, Service Factory AB, and TSI Telecommunication Services Inc.

The members will decide on the service level to be delivered to their end-users while WLAN vendors help build the technical standard specs to enable open and workable standards which can be implemented by WISPs of all sizes. The goal is to strengthen the position of all WISPs, regardless of whether they operate a small number of hotspots or provide regional/national coverage.