CableLabs, TIP Update OpenWiFi Standard to Enhance Interoperability

CableLabs and the Telecom Infra Project have introduced version 2.9 of OpenWiFi at the cable industry’s research and development organization’s Louisville, CO headquarters.

The two organizations also have commissioned a “refreshed” OpenWiFi Community Lab that they say will be “a testing ground and demonstration stage” for cable operators worldwide.

The goal of OpenWiFi is to help participants test, trial and deploy open and disaggregated multivendor and managed Wi-Fi networks. Version 2.9 is supported by the uCentral communication layer. It supports Multi Pre-Shared Keys that enable devices to log in based on MAC address. Another feature is a captive portal requiring user interaction before Wi-Fi access is granted. OpenWiFi supports Wireless Broadband Alliance OpenRoaming to enable automatic and secure Wi-Fi across networks.

OpenWiFi reduces the cost of Wi-Fi network development and operation, according to CableLabs and TIP. The platform includes a cloud controller software development kit (SDK) and enterprise-grade access point firmware. Participants in the trial and in the OpenWiFi Lab include hardware manufacturers ActionTec, EdgeCore, HFCL, Indio Networks and Lindsay Broadband, as well as software cloud controller companies HFCL, NetExperience, Wavespot and Indio Networks.

“CableLabs has supported OpenWiFi since the launch and we believe in the power of open and disaggregated Wi-Fi solutions,” Josh Redmore, principal architect, wireless access technologies for CableLabs, said in a press release. “This new version of OpenWiFi leverages open source software and hardware to greatly reduce the barrier to entry of deploying managed Wi-Fi.”

The ability of OpenWiFi to work seamlessly with OpenRoaming makes it easier to take advantage of business opportunities in verticals such as retail, hospitality, education, and multi dwelling units, said Tiago Rodriques, the CEO of the Wireless Broadband Alliance.

OpenWiFi use cases include multi-dwelling units, hospitality and smart cities.


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