The need for seamless Wi-Fi roaming has to some degree risen out of the rapid rise in the number of mobile subscriptions and explosive growth in demand for mobile broadband. Numbering 6 billion at the end of 2011, mobile subscriptions are expected to hit the 9 billion mark by the end of 2017 and mobile-data usage is expected to grow 15 times in the same time period. To provide this massive number of users with good service, Hotspot 2.0 will build on the roaming principles that have successfully supported global growth in the mobile industry.
Network-prioritization decisions, such as cellular or Wi-Fi and which Wi-Fi network results in the best user experience cellular should be made by the network. Leaving users to enjoy a seamless roaming experience and be free to manually switch to a residential or enterprise Wi-Fi network when they want.