Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about Ameriband Connect, Passpoint, Wi-Fi, and indoor cellular coverage.
Passpoint provides secure and seamless connectivity to Wi-Fi networks. The Passpoint protocol was developed by the Wi-Fi Alliance and was adopted as an industry standard in 2012. Wi-Fi equipment and smartphone manufacturers began to deploy Passpoint commercially at scale in 2014.
Passpoint allows any device in range of a Passpoint-enabled network to automatically, seamlessly and securely connect without the need to enter credentials. All major carriers in the U.S. have the Passpoint standard enabled on their smartphones. No installation is necessary.
Security is a primary concern for any network. The Wi-Fi Alliance is responsible for creating the industry protocols the entire industry uses for security. Passpoint adheres to the IEEE 802.11u specification – a version of 802.1x. It is restricted to access points and devices capable of WPA2 and WPA3 authentication, specifically the EAP authentication protocol. It is the industry standard for network security.
Passpoint utilizes digital certificates through EAP which dramatically increases the security of the network. The Wi-Fi connection requires the local network to authenticate the mobile device. Cellular providers use encrypted credentials on an eSIM, allowing for the most secure certificate-based authentication possible.
Once Passpoint has been enabled on the network, your phone will automatically connect. If you have configured a non-Passpoint SSID on your phone for the same location, your phone will connect to that network instead. To test Passpoint, change your phone’s Wi-Fi settings to forget that non-Passpoint network or change it to not automatically connect. Do not select the Passpoint SSID in your Wi-Fi settings. The phone should now connect without manually selecting any network.
(Note: Some older Android devices do not have Passpoint enabled by default. In that case, on your phone’s Wi-Fi Menu, check the Advanced or More options and locate the “Passpoint” or “Hotspot 2.0” checkbox. Make sure this box is checked.)
Deploying Passpoint Wi-Fi requires a provider that has established relationships and backbone connectivity to cellular service carriers. American Bandwidth is partnered with numerous major carriers and our team has been configuring Passpoint networks for over a decade.
Nearly all enterprise Wi-Fi equipment supports Passpoint. No additional licensing, tools or equipment is required. Configuration and integration can be completed in as little as 30 minutes.
Enterprise Wi-Fi equipment from the following manufacturers have been integrated as part of the Passpoint solution:
In most cases you will need a separate broadcast SSID on the 5Ghz network. An additional advantage of enabling Passpoint is a significant reduction of signaling traffic on your existing Wi-Fi infrastructure, as most devices will instantly connect to your network. Connected devices stop polling for known SSIDs, lowering the noise floor.
Yes. Any VLAN, new or existing, will work if the VLAN has internet access. Most networks simply use their existing guest VLAN.
Wi-Fi Calling uses an IPsec tunnel from the phone to the carrier’s network; you will not have insight into this traffic. However, any data traffic (e.g. web, social media, streaming services, etc.) will offer the same network control as you currently have, as this traffic is “local breakout.” You can regulate traffic-shaping, limit certain content availability, and ensure that devices in your facilities comply with your policies.
With the right analytics tools, you can also gain insight to the mobile data activity of every device connecting with Passpoint. For example, a retailer might be able to detect that some users are using an app from a competitor for comparison shopping.
Passpoint behaves similar to a cellular network, and just like cellular, any manually configured wireless network that is designed to automatically connect users will take precedence over Passpoint.
If you already distribute 802.1x profiles for employees or other stakeholders to connect, they will continue to connect using that method. In cases like this, the Passpoint solution functions like an indoor cellular solution, guaranteeing secure, automatic connectivity for devices that are not otherwise connected to your network.
For all implementations of Passpoint, you will see an increase in the number of devices that connect. in most scenarios, this is not an issue but in locations where there is a lot of transient traffic, we recommend limiting your DHCP lease time to 30 minutes.
In most Passpoint deployments, despite the substantial increase in connected devices, an increase in Internet backhaul usage is commonly 10% or less. For certain venue types such as retail, the increase can be as little as 1%.
As part of the configuration process, American Bandwidth will also provide specific advice on how to optimize your Wi-Fi network for Wi-Fi Calling. This includes enabling 802.11r (fast roaming), only broadcasting the Passpoint SSID on 5Ghz channels, ensuring the network is not in NAT mode, and other optimization details.
The complete Ameriband Connect solution also includes usage reporting for the Passpoint service, and we will alert you of any outages in your Passpoint network