Where We're Headed: The Wi-Fi Alliance and the Wireless Broadband Alliance — along with several carriers, cable companies and hotspot provider Boingo — are all getting ready to roll out Passpoint-certified Wi-Fi. Also known as Hotspot 2.0 and Next Generation Hotspot (NGH), Passpoint promises automatic, seamless and secure connectivity to Wi-Fi Passpoint hotspots. No more scrolling through lists of available Wi-Fi networks, and no more wrestling with passwords, sign-in procedures or interstitial pages. Passpoint makes Wi-Fi connectivity as brainless as connecting to a cell network, and is due to start being rolled out later this year.
Prediction: By 2018, you'll be able to leave your house, travel to an airport, get on a plane and land in a foreign city — and never lose your Wi-Fi connection. In fact, your cellular connection — 4G, LTE Advanced or whatever — will end up being your backup data network, since Passpoint Wi-Fi will be close to ubiquitous worldwide.