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Hot Spot 2.0 (HS 2.0)

Contributor(s): Stan Gibilisco

Hot Spot 2.0 (HS 2.0), also called Wi-Fi Certified Passpoint, is a new standard for public-access Wi-Fi that enables seamless roaming among WiFi networks and between WiFi and cellular networks. HS 2.0 was developed by the Wi-Fi Alliance and the Wireless Broadband Association to enable seamless hand-off of traffic  without requiring additional user sign-on and authentication.

A hot spot (or hotspot) is a wireless LAN (local area network) node that provides Internet connection and virtual private network (VPN) access from a given location for users of devices with wireless connectivity. Hot spots are common in hotels, airports, libraries, and coffee shops. Normally, a user must connect manually to a hotspot by checking the wireless connection options, selecting one, and entering authentication information, usually a simple password. The physical connectivity zone is determined by the range of the wireless router(s) owned by the establishment. In most cases the radius is about 100 to 200 meters.

The HS 2.0  specification is based on a set of protocols called 802.11u, which facilitates cellular-like roaming, increased bandwidth, and service on demand for wireless-equipped devices in general. When a subscriber's 802.11u-capable device is in range of at least one Wi-Fi network, the device automatically selects a network and connects to it. Network discovery, registration, provisioning, and access processes are automated, so that the user does not have to go through them manually in order to connect and stay connected.  

This was last updated in May 2013

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