When Integrating Wi-Fi, Operators Need to Think Quality

April 4, 2016 - Openet

As we incorporate Wi-Fi we must get more sophisticated, says a new paper from Openet. The challenge, though, is that customers are already used to using Wi-Fi, it is normally free and therefore moving it into a money making model will be difficult. Research conducted by App Annie late last year revealed that Wi-Fi accounts for 75 percent of data traffic, and in Germany this figure hits 90 percent. No wonder the Regulator felt the need to intervene in the recent liability issue.

The critical thing to get right, according to the paper, is quality. Wi-Fi has come a long way, since the days of the Internet Café (some companies have gone from Cafe to Service Provider) and if carriers want to integrate it with their cellular offerings, then quality must be at the centre of the service.

Examples are emerging. Singtel is offering a ‘combo’ plan, where customers are switched automatically, and without needing a password, between 3 and 4G, and their Wi-Fi network. Singtel’s Wi-Fi is, they say, five times faster than normal, it is available at 700 hotspots and is cheap (until June this year, it is free).

In North America, Sprint came to an agreement with Boingo to offload customers onto their Wi-Fi networks at 35 major airports. The company predicts that 40 million Sprint customers will have access to their network, and since they started the partnership in 2013, when customers were using 35MB per session, they are now using 300.

Read more at Disruptive Views.


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