By Claus Hetting, Wi-Fi NOW CEO & Chairman
Google’s new Orion WiFi roaming and offload initiative has been making waves across the Wi-Fi world since its launch just a few weeks ago – and we were lucky enough to get Orion WiFi director Raj Gajwani on camera to present and answer questions about the new project during our recent Virtual Wi-Fi World Congress. Here’s the interview (watch it above) and a quick synopsis of some of what he said below.
Google’s Orion WiFi is perhaps the most exciting and promising thing to happen to the case for ‘Wi-Fi offload’ for years – we’ve already written about it in detail here. During the Virtual Wi-Fi World Congress we then had a chance to sit down with the project’s director – Raj Gajwani – to dig into all the details of the new initiative. It’s still early days but Google’s plan is compelling.
Raj – and we expect this means the rest of Google, too – believes that the future of telecoms belongs to ‘networks of networks’ and that Orion WiFi is an example of how mobile and Wi-Fi will come together to provide all the right services in all the right places. Orion WiFi – says Raj – can be seen as a preview of how the industry is likely to evolve over the next couple of years based on (among other developments) the OpenRoaming (Passpoint) standard. Google is working with standardisation bodies to add impetus to this important work.
Raj says Orion WiFi can be seen as an “alternative or complement” to DAS (distributed antenna systems for indoor mobile coverage). Orion WiFi takes literally hours as opposed to weeks or months to set up. With regards to paying participating venues for offload, he also says that mobile carriers ‘care mostly about location and quality’ of the venue Wi-Fi when determining what should be the dollar value of an offload service.
And there’s plenty more insightful commentary and information available from Raj Gajwani. Watch the entire interview with the Google Orion WiFi director above.