Intel and Google join Wireless Broadband Alliance

Intel and Google have become members of the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA).

The WBA announced the addition of several new members at the 18th WBA Roundtable Conference & WBA Partners’ Day in Auckland 2010. Existing members include Wi-Fi network vendors such as Aruba Networks, Meru Networks and Ruckus Wireless.

Chris Bruce, CEO of BT Openzone and chair of the WBA, said: “All of the WBA Partners have always been united by two common objectives. Firstly, these organisations want to work together to make the Wi-Fi experience easier for the customers. Secondly, there is a real focus on creating new opportunities for 3G Wi-Fi roaming.

“We are excited about welcoming new partners because, with their own new perspective and expertise, they can only help us make these objectives a reality.”

Cedric Gonin, Orange Wi-Fi Director and Co-Chair of the WBA, said: “The key challenge faced by Wi-Fi ecosystem is to provide a homogeneous customer experience. This can be addressed only if the operators, device and networks manufacturers and roaming service providers all share a common objective and work together to build it. We are happy that by extending the WBA community to different kind of ecosystem players, we are now well positioned to make it happen shortly.”

The news follows Intel recently announcing its intention to buy Infineon’s Wireless Solutions Business in a deal worth approximately $1.4 billion. At the time, Intel said it hoped the deal, expected to close in the first quarter of 2011, would “expand its mobile and embedded product offerings to support additional customers and market segments, including smartphones, tablets, netbooks, notebooks and embedded computing devices”.

The WBA was founded in 2003 by leading telecoms operators and says its goal is to drive wireless broadband adoption globally by developing common commercial and technical frameworks for Wi-Fi interoperability across networks, technologies and devices.