Android phones automatically connect to Wi-Fi hotspsots with new platform
Last week, the Wi-Fi Alliance announced a certification program that assures devices will be able to seamlessly hand off their mobile data connection to a Wi-Fi connection and vice-versa. This program is called Wi-Fi certified Passpoint, and it was defined by service providers who desperately need a way to ease traffic on their congested mobile broadband networks. With devices that can automatically pair and connect over Wi-Fi, mobile networks can spare themselves some traffic.
The first devices certified in the the Passpoint test bed included: Access points from BelAir, Broadcom, Cisco, Ruckus Wireless, XSpan, and Qualcomm, as well as chips from Intel and Marvell. Included in the announcement last week was MediaTek's Hotspot 2.0 Client V1, which today the company said is the first (and only) smartphone system-on-a-chip to be involved in the project, and it's for mid- and entry-level dual-SIM Android devices.
MediaTek Hotspot 2.0 Client V1 is actually based on MediaTek's MT6620 Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/GPS/FM combo chip, which the company first debuted exactly one year ago, and it is paired with a 1GHz ARM Cortex A9 processor and an Imagination Technologies PowerVR Series5 SGX GPU and an 8 megapixel image sensor. The whole thing runs Android 4.0 (ICS).
The reason why this is noteworthy is because these components are already in mass production, and shipping in commercially available devices, including smartphones, tablets, portable media players (PMPs), portable game consoles, and personal navigation devices.
Entry-level, dual-SIM Android smartphones utilizing the experimental Certified Wi-Fi Passpoint platform could be hitting the market very soon.