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Spec Completed For Hotspot Authentication Via SIMs

A consortium of smartcard vendors said Wednesday it has completed proposed specifications that would enable users to securely access hotspots using SIM modules such as those used in phones that access GSM networks.

In this case, the SIM cards would be inserted into USB key devices that would act like smartcards that authenticate users who wish to log on to wireless LANs.

"This set of specifications allows Wi-Fi hot spot operators to apply SIM technology for WLAN authentication to leverage existing roaming, security, billing and back office infrastructure," Bill Carney, of Texas Instruments said in a statement. TI is a founding member of the WLAN Smart Card Consortium.

The consortium released much of the specification last September and completed the specification this week. The consortium said in a statement that, besides simplifying using hotspots securely, the technology would enable hotspot operators to make their offerings more attractive, particularly to enterprise users.