NTT DOCOMO, China Mobile International Ltd. and KT Corporation of Korea announced today that they have agreed to lay out a joint Wi-Fi® inbound roaming scheme covering Japan, China and Korea. The three companies will jointly exhibit the scheme to global operators at Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona beginning February 25.
While DOCOMO, China Mobile and KT already provide nationwide Wi-Fi® services in their respective markets, the new arrangement will allow international mobile and/or Wi-Fi® operators to roam into Wi-Fi® hotspots in Japan, China and Korea through a single contract and a one-stop connection realized by hubs supported by the scheme. At this point, China Mobile International is named to be one of the hub operators. The scheme, targeted for launch in the second quarter of 2013, is a result of the business tie-up between DOCOMO, China Mobile Communications Corporation and KT announced in January 2011.
Meanwhile, DOCOMO, China Mobile and KT will adopt EAP-SIM authentication technology to eliminate the need for customers to enter user IDs and passwords when accessing Wi-Fi® hotspots, leading to improved convenience and experiences. The companies will each handle implementation of the authentication technology in accordance with their own required procedures, targeting the launch of services sometime in the second quarter of 2013.
To explore ways to further enhance Wi-Fi® roaming convenience and user experiences, the three companies also are taking part in the second phase of the Wireless Broadband Alliance’s Next Generation Hotspot (NGH) trial, in which key Wi-Fi® operators and vendors in the alliance are developing seamless, robust and secure technology for more effortless Wi-Fi® roaming.