Swedish company Anyfi Networks has just announced a novel technology that could change the way Wi-Fi roaming via public hotspots works, potentially giving ISPs global reach and freeing users from expensive roaming charges.
Anyfi.net is a service that effectively gives roaming users a virtual Wi-Fi connection to their own ISP via any Anyfi.net-enabled hotspot. From a user's perspective, connecting to an Anyfi.net hotspot is just like connecting to a home Wi-Fi router, with no need for third-party portals or voucher systems &mdash the cost could simply be added to their standard broadband bill, or even included as part of their ISP's package. In effect, the ISP gains a worldwide Wi-Fi network that follows the user around.
The technology is software-based, so the Anyfi.net extension can be added into any access point with a software-defined MAC . It uses 802.11 frame tunnelling and virtual MAC partitioning to create multiple virtual SSIDs, each of which connects to the ISP's remote access server. This looks after all the management, authentication and end-to-end encryption functions, as well as acting as an IP gateway for the user's Wi-Fi device.
According to Anyfi Networks CEO Bj