CableLabs, the leading innovation and R&D lab for the cable industry, and Telecom Infra Project (TIP) OpenWiFi, the open source-based Wi-Fi architecture that enables part multi-vendor, managed Wi-Fi networks, today announced the successful validation of new interoperable hardware and software, version 2.9, and the commissioning of a refreshed OpenWiFi Community Lab to serve as a testing ground and demonstration stage for global cable operators. This new initiative is part of CableLabs’ ongoing collaboration with the Telecom Infra Project.
OpenWiFi is a community-developed open source platform designed to lower the cost of developing and operating Wi-Fi networks. It includes a cloud controller SDK and an enterprise-grade access point (AP) firmware, and is designed and validated to work seamlessly together. Interoperable companies participating in the trial and OpenWiFi Lab include hardware manufacturers ActionTec, EdgeCore, HFCL, Indio Networks and Lindsay Broadband, and software cloud controllers companies HFCL, NetExperience, Wavespot, and Indio Networks.
This new version of OpenWiFi is built on the uCentral communication layer and supports Multi Pre-Shared Key allowing devices to log in based on MAC address. It also supports a captive portal to require user interaction before they are granted Wi-Fi access. For advanced connectivity, OpenWiFi supports OpenRoaming, from the Wireless Broadband Alliance, a roaming federation service enabling an automatic and secure Wi-Fi experience globally.
“CableLabs has supported OpenWiFi since the launch and we believe in the power of open and disaggregated Wi-Fi solutions,” said Josh Redmore, principal architect, wireless access technologies for CableLabs. “This new version of OpenWiFi leverages open source software and hardware to greatly reduce the barrier to entry of deploying managed Wi-Fi.”
“CableLabs is the guiding light, pointing to the innovation that will soon be adopted by the cable industry,” said Jack Raynor, co-chair of the OpenWiFi program group at TIP. “The OpenWiFi Community Lab is a great resource for CableLabs’ members who are building Wi-Fi networks and want to demo, test, trial and ultimately deploy OpenWiFi.”
“By having OpenWiFi work seamlessly with OpenRoaming out of the box, it creates strategic business opportunities in verticals including retail, hospitality, education, and multi dwelling units,” said Tiago Rodriques, CEO of the Wireless Broadband Alliance. “It’s a smart move by the community developing and building the OpenWiFi solution to include OpenRoaming capabilities.”
Launched in 2021, TIP OpenWiFi has announced commercial deployments in the United States with Boingo Wireless, in India with Spectra, in Pakistan with Multinet, in Kenya with ThinkWiFi and Mawingu, and a trial with the City of Dublin and Virgin Media that complies with the European Commission’s WIFI4EU initiative, the benchmark for public Wi-Fi deployments in Europe. Use cases include MDU, Hospitality and Smart Cities, with others on the horizon.