Time Warner Cable has upped its Wi-Fi game by adding Hotspot 2.0 abilities to most of its 33,000 access points across the nation.
Hotspot 2.0, which is also known as Wi-Fi Certified Passpoint, allows mobile devices to automatically join a Wi-Fi network based upon preferences and network optimization whenever the user enters a Hotspot 2.0-enabled area. Time Warner Cable is using Hotspot 2.0 throughout Southern California, New York City, Austin, Charlotte, Kansas City, Myrtle Beach and Hawaii.
Hotspot 2.0 brings cellular like capabilities to Wi-Fi users by enabling them to log in one time instead of entering their passwords at every access point when they come in range. With the deployment, Time Warner Cable laid claim to being the largest Passpoint-enabled network in the country.
TWCWiFi-Passpoint uses enterprise-grade WPA2 security, which works on most Wi-Fi-enabled laptops, tablets, and smartphones including iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy 4, and HTC One. With the new encryption technology, the new service mimics the home Wi-Fi user experience.
“Our goal with TWCWiFi-Passpoint is to assure even our most security conscious Internet customer that it’s as safe for them to surf the Web on-the-go as it is for them to surf in their home,” said Rob Cerbone, vice president wireless products for Time Warner Cable. “We want our qualified Internet customers to take advantage of the added value they can get with free TWC WiFi.”
Time Warner Cable subscribers need to select the TWCWiFi-Passpoint SSID or continue to access the TWC WiFi SSID.
Wi-Fi users can look for hotspots that have the TWCWiFi-Passpoint SSID using the TWCWiFi coverage map and will be able to find and connect to any access point using the free TWC WiFi Finder app by the end of the month.
“By deploying a Passpoint-enabled network across thousands of hotspots, Time Warner Cable has taken a leadership stance in deploying advanced Wi-Fi technology,” said Wi-Fi Alliance CEO Edgar Figueroa. “We commend Time Warner Cable for their vision of delivering a great connectivity experience to customers, wherever they go.”
Time Warner Cable, which uses Wi-Fi gear from Ruckus Wireless and Cisco, is also a member of the Cable WiFi consortium, which has more than 200,000 Wi-Fi hotspots across the nation. In theory, the members of the consortium—Comcast, Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Cablevision—would be able to seamlessly keep users connected as they move across the various hotspots once they all have Passport enabled.
While cable operators haven’t exactly cashed in on customer-based Wi-Fi services to date, the hot spots aid in reducing churn among the subscribers.
Comcast has previously said it was interested in Hotspot 2.0. Cablevision has also been working on enabling seamless handoffs of Wi-Fi signals on the commuter trains it serves in the New York metro area.