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Google’s Orion WiFi

Inside of Google’s in-house incubator, Area 120, is the birth of Orion WiFi. A new way for network operators to offer their Wi-Fi to carriers and generate revenue.

In this episode, we have two guests from Google:

  • Raj Gajwani
  • Rich Mazzola

Orion WiFi lets businesses such as public venues sell their Wi-Fi capacity to cellular carriers. The types of venues being targeted are malls, stadiums, and other public spaces.

It works with enterprise wireless hardware from Cisco, Juniper/Mist, Meraki, Ruckus, and more.

The other purpose of Orion WiFi is to simplify the experience for users when roaming from cellular to the Wi-Fi network on-premises. It’s a seamless experience for the user and they may not even realize they’ve switched to the local Wi-Fi network.

Yes, it does sound familiar. It leverages Passpoint technology. Specifically, Orion WiFi is part of OpenRoaming.

The carrier will offload data/voice communications to the Wi-Fi network.

It’s not complicated to set up. In fact, it’s a low barrier to entry and doesn’t cost anything extra. You’ll need to be able to set up RADSEC from your infrastructure to Google Orion’s. The credentials used in order to use Wi-Fi offload will be from the carrier.

Configuring RADSEC isn’t complicated either. Google has already prepared the deployment guides for various Wi-Fi systems.

This is really meant to be nearly zero touch, fast and seamless. It’s standards-based and as long as the mobile devices support Passpoint and the carrier has an agreement with Google, it’s a simple setup. It removes the network operator from negotiating any agreements with the carriers. As long as the carrier is set up with Google Orion WiFi, the network operator will benefit.

How does revenue work? The carrier is who pays to make a choice of doing Wi-Fi offloading to the Wi-Fi network. Google makes their revenue by taking a percentage of the revenue generated from the carriers offloading to the venue’s Wi-Fi network.

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Rowell

Rowell, CWNE #210, is a network engineer in Higher-Ed. He enjoys working with wireless networking technologies and loves to share and engage with the community. You can connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

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