A group of operators and vendors have formed a group to work out seamless roaming between GSM and Wi-Fi networks: The group hopes to develop a specification and work with standards organizations for a formal standard. The three big GSM operators in the United States, AT&T Wireless, Cingular, and T-Mobile are part of the group as are Motorola, Nokia, Siemens, and others.
While the creation of a standard is a step in the right direction, there doesn't seem to be any mention on the group's Web site of any work toward backend billing and settlement between operators. The issue of arranging business deals between operators seems to be a more difficult hurdle than the technical issues of such roaming. Also, notably absent in the list of participants are many of the leading Wi-Fi operators. T-Mobile and British Telecom are part of the group but none of the other large Wi-Fi operators.
It's always hard to tell when these groups pop up if they'll just fizzle away or actually accomplish what they set out to. There is certainly a need for work on Wi-Fi/cellular roaming so hopefully this group will be successful.