What is OpenRoaming?

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Published 8/06/2023


OpenRoaming is a federated roaming federation that uses Hotspot 2.0 (Wi-Fi Certified Passpoint) together with 802.1X which enables seamless authenticated user roaming between disparate Wi-Fi networks regardless of the SSID. The governance of OpenRoaming was transferred from Cisco to the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) several years ago and subsequently uptake by Wi-Fi service providers, particularly in the USA has been strong.

There are some interesting possibilities for the application of the technology in eduroam, but for now we are focusing on the potential of a greatly expanded Wi-Fi service footprint for connection of roaming eduroam users – without needing to subscribe to Wi-Fi access provider companies.

Introduction to OpenRoaming

For a high level overview of OpenRoaming click on link to view pdf > What is OpenRoaming?

OpenRoaming Participants consist of:

(i) Access Network Providers (ANPs - the equivalent of a Visited service provider / Service Provider (SP) in eduroam), who operate OpenRoaming enabled Wi-Fi networks

(ii) Identity Providers (IDPs - the equivalent of a Home service provider / Identity Provider (IdP) in eduroam), who authenticate each End-User using the Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP) within Passpoint using the Wi-Fi Network of the relevant ANPs

(iii) Ecosystem Brokers (Brokers) who work directly with ANPs and IDPs for the necessary provision of the Service, as authorized directly or indirectly by the WBA. 

How might the eduroam community benefit from OpenRoaming?

For an end-user perspective of the benefits that might follow from eduroam Home/IdP member organisations implementing support for OpenRoaming, see eduroam + OpenRoaming End-User Information - eduroam.org

eduroam(UK) is currently engaging in a collaborative investigation into the implemention of support for OpenRoaming.