Leading Roaming Providers, WiMAX & Wi-Fi Operators Join WBA to Expand Global Roaming Across Technologie

(PresseBox) (Bern, ) Bern, Switzerland, 31 July 2008 - The Wireless Broadband Alliance (“WBA”), a pioneer in global Wireless Broadband roaming for public Wi-Fi networks, announced on its 5th anniversary that 11 new members including leading roaming providers, WiMAX Operators and Wi-Fi Operators from across Asia Pacific, Americas, Europe and Africa have joined its folds. With these new members, the WBA aims to help customers to enjoy increased roaming opportunities globally across technologies, networks and devices.

The new WiMAX operator members of WBA, who also offer public Wi-Fi services, include FREEDOM4 (UK), NOMAD (Mauritius), Unwired (Australia) and YTLE (Malaysia). The other new members include leading Roaming Providers - Comfone, iPass, MACH, Quiconnect, Syniverse and Verisign who bring extensive roaming experience and knowledge into WBA to allow interoperability across technologies, devices and networks. In addition, Connection Services, who provides services such as global hotspot directory has also joined WBA.

With the addition of new members, the WBA membership has boosted significantly during this year from an initial 26 to 38. It now includes a unique mix of leading roaming providers and operators offering wireless services across Wi-Fi, WiMAX and Mobile broadband networks.

“Internet roaming across various wireless broadband technologies has been a key focus area for WBA. The WiMAX technology is fast catching up and is soon expected to be embedded in devices like laptops and mobile phones. Similarly with proliferation of dual mode Mobile and Wi-Fi devices, our effort is to facilitate seamless authentication and roaming across multiple devices and networks. A rapidly expanding membership and ongoing collaboration projects with other industry bodies will help WBA to work closely with the wider industry ecosystem to help our members address the growing demand from end-users for seamless wireless broadband services.” said Mr. Prateek Pashine, Chair of WBA.

"As an aggregator of hotspots and provider of roaming services, we considered it of utmost importance to become a member of the WBA", said Laurent Freléchoux, Product Marketing Director of WeRoam Services, Comfone. "By joining the WBA, the only recognised industry alliance promoting public WLAN roaming and focussed on facilitating a global roaming framework for inter-operator roaming, Comfone can both access and influence the setting of WLAN roaming standards. Comfone's WeRoam service currently connects nearly 60 hotspot networks and our membership of the WBA will support us in expanding our network further and facilitate inter-operability and a consistent user experience while roaming across WLAN networks."

About WBA:
Into its fifth year of operation, the Wireless Broadband Alliance was created to drive the adoption of wireless broadband technologies and services around the world by developing a common commercial, technical and marketing framework for wireless network interoperability. Its goal is to develop a global alliance of wireless providers that can truly deliver services that provide a consistent customer experience and reliability for wireless broadband users worldwide.
One of the key achievements of the WBA has been to drive commercial Wi-Fi roaming globally by developing WBA WRIX (Wireless Roaming Intermediary Exchange), a modularised standard service specification that won the Wireless Broadband Innovation 2007 award in the Best Wi-Fi Product / Service segment. This standard makes it easier to implement roaming between WBA members and reduces time to market for new operators interested in expanding global roaming footprint. It also allows the end-customers around the world to enjoy consistent user experience while roaming globally.


The WBA is also actively collaborating with other alliances and forums to help harmonize wireless broadband roaming standards including those for support Dual Mode devices and WIMAX roaming.

The Wireless Broadband Alliance is formed by pioneers in the wireless broadband field and it 38 current members include leading operators offering wireless services across Wi-Fi, WiMAX and Mobile broadband networks and roaming providers. Collectively, the Wireless Broadband Alliance members operate over 85,000 Wi-Fi hotspots worldwide and have a pool of more than 230 million subscribers across Europe, Asia Pacific and Americas.
For more information, please visit www.wballiance.com.

About Comfone
Comfone, provider of roaming services to over 300 operators in over 125 countries worldwide, is known throughout the telecoms industry as an international mobile roaming specialist. Comfone's industry know-how owes to years of experience and customer-orientated in-house expertise.
Through its unique portfolio and additional value added services, Comfone fully optimises the setting up of each operator's roaming processes, facilitating the potential for reducing overall costs. The portfolio ranges from complete outsourcing of roaming to individual elements, such as signalling, data, convergence, clearing and WLAN services.

The launch of Comfone's pioneering hub services provide mobile operators with worldwide coverage, interconnection and clearing through only one agreement with Comfone and one connection to Comfone's central platform. Our integrated approach to hub-based roaming is unique as it includes our complete portfolio of GSM, SMS, GRX, MMS, 3G, CAMEL, WLAN and WiMAX roaming services.
Comfone's active participation in GSMA standardisation groups ensures that its innovative solutions are market-driven and meet the requirements of its substantial worldwide customer base.

From Comfone's headquarters in Switzerland of 100 staff, representing 16 nationalities and 23 languages, and from its regional offices covering Northern and Eastern Europe, Latin America, North America, Central Asia and Asia Pacific, Comfone is well placed to support its customers throughout the world. Learn more about Comfone and its WeRoam services at www.comfone.com & www.weroam.com.


Contact at Comfone:
Comfone AG
Louise Ledsom
Communications Manager
Tel: +41 (0) 31 341 11 74
Fax: +41 (0) 31 341 10 11
Email: Louise.Ledsom@comfone.com

Kontakt

Comfone AG
Nussbaumstrasse 4
CH-3000 Bern
Louise Ledsom
Communications Manager
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