Ruckus Wireless has made a massive mobile data offload network deal with Japan's KDDI. The multi million-dollar agreement will see KDDI deploying more than 10,000 Ruckus Wi-Fi access points initially in more than 7,000 venues throughout Japan that will enable 3G CDMA Android phone users to automatically access and be authenticated to KDDI Wi-Fi hotspots using credentials embedded within each phone over encrypted connections. By March 2012, KDDI plans to offer Wi-Fi in 100,000 locations and 120,000 locations by June.
KDDI's service offering is called "au Wi-Fi Spot," and the initial focus is offloading data traffic indoors. KDDI is leveraging its national WiMAX network to backhaul the data traffic from each hotspot to KDDI's mobile network core. Each Ruckus ZoneFlexWi-Fi access point connects wirelessly to KDDI's WiMAX infrastructure to speed up deployment times.
David Callisch, vice president of marketing with Ruckus Wireless, said KDDI is striking deals with retailers and other venue owners to install access points with WiMAX routers to create the hotspots.
"The goal was to get a massive footprint as quickly as possible and at the lowest possible cost," Callisch told FierceBroadbandWireless. "The strategy is to tie it in with the existing core network and extend policies to any kind of traffic."
KDDI has created its own proprietary handset smart client to enable seamless roaming between its CDMA 3G network and its hotspots. Subscribers can download the software onto an Android smartphone to enable automatic roaming and authentication.
The Wi-Fi Alliance and the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA), which represents cable companies wanting to deploy service-provider grade Wi-Fi networks, have joined forces to tackle Wi-Fi hotspot roaming and authentication in a standardized way. But the standardized solution likely won't be available until next year. The groups are using existing IEEE standards to make Wi-Fi carrier grade.
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