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Canadian Wireless Industry Announces Wi-Fi Roaming Agreement
Posted: 01-Mar-2004 [Source: CWTA]

[Wi-Fi roaming between Canada's major networks to begin this fall and agree to add more than 500 hotspots over the coming year.]

Ottawa, ON -- Canada's national wireless carriers today announced they have signed an inter-carrier agreement that establishes common standards for roaming and interoperability of the public Wi-Fi hotspots they operate. In addition, the carriers have joined together to create a common brand identifier for Wi-Fi hotspots in Canada. Today's announcement by Bell Mobility, Microcell Solutions (Fido), Rogers AT&T Wireless and TELUS Mobility serves as confirmation of the carriers' commitment to develop Wi-Fi in Canada.

Under the terms of the agreement, all public commercial hotspots operated by the carriers, and any other Canadian operator or hotspot owner who meets the minimum requirements and chooses to join the roaming alliance, will be branded consistently with the common hotspot identifier. When customers access Wi-Fi service in any location with the hotspot identifier, they can expect to be presented with an identical, browser-based login area, ensuring a simple, consistent and secure experience in all locations.

This agreement will also simplify payment options for customers who use Wi-Fi access at one of the branded hotpots. Currently customers must use a credit card and pay in advance for high-speed wireless Internet access using Wi-Fi. Once fully operational, customers of Canada's national wireless carriers will be able to charge their Wi-Fi usage to their existing bills from their wireless provider, as per the methods of payment offered by each of the carriers.

In an effort to spur the availability of public commercial hotspots, the four carriers have committed to build more than 500 hotspot locations over the next year. Based on current estimates, this build will more than double the number of locations in Canada.

The four carriers will demonstrate inter-carrier roaming and present details of the initiative at this week's Wi-FiPower 2004 conference in Toronto. Roaming between the four wireless carriers' hotspots is expected to be available this fall.

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