Mobile customers of US-based operator AT&T (NYSE:T) are now able to seamlessly connect in London’s iconic Trafalgar Square, with the launch of a new ultra-fast Passpoint Wi-Fi network from next-generation wireless infrastructure-as-a-service provider Ontix.
Launched in early 2020, the Ontix Wi-Fi service is the first in Central London to offer Passpoint™ connectivity, which is provided by GlobalReach Technology. A solution to mobile connectivity and capacity challenges in dense, inner-city areas, AT&T is pioneering the use of the service to provide automatic roaming through SIM authentication for its mobile customers.
Using this innovative networking standard, overseas AT&T subscribers auto-attach to the Wi-Fi network using the operator’s Passpoint profile which has been installed onto their devices. The profile takes care of seamless user onboarding both onto the Wi-Fi roaming service and the Wi-Fi network and provides the benefit of free VoIP calls.
Installed on lampposts and street furniture assets with high-speed wireless backhaul, the outdoor Ontix Wi-Fi service has been successfully running alongside Ontix’s existing small cell wireless network since January, and is a key validation of Ontix’s hybrid Metrohaul architecture for both Wi-Fi and small cell backhaul in dense urban areas. The high-performance Wi-Fi service is fully available to the public and is set to be extended across Westminster during Q1 2021 under Ontix’s exclusive 10-year concession agreement with Westminster City Council, boosting connectivity in high-footfall retail areas.
Jeff Feldstein, director of Global Connection Management at AT&T: “AT&T’s key focus is on ensuring optimal connectivity for our mobile subscribers, wherever they are in the world. Through Ontix’s incorporation of Passpoint connectivity from GlobalReach Technology, we can automatically download a profile onto customers’ devices and deliver seamless user onboarding – both for Wi-Fi hotspot roaming and for connecting to Ontix’s ultra-fast Wi-Fi network. AT&T subscribers in Central London can now automatically move from the cellular service to Wi-Fi, and back again, experiencing high-quality, high-speed wireless service that can meet even the most demanding voice and data needs of our customers.”
Ontix CEO Thor Johnsen added: “The enthusiastic uptake of this service by AT&T’s U.S. international roaming customers demonstrates the value of Ontix’s approach in innovating this first for Central London, and the clear demand for ultra-high performance connectivity delivering through seamless roaming. Our Wi-Fi service is available to all UK and global cellular operators looking to maximise their coverage footprint in Central London, and seeking to boost capacity by offloading traffic from the macro network. Through our innovative approach, AT&T is able to provide its mobile users with exceptional connectivity and lower-cost roaming, free VoIP calls, plus seamless Wi-Fi roaming right across this popular tourist area.”