We go through the history of Public WiFi Adoption and cover the following topics in this following article:
1) Key benefits for adding WiFi in public places
2) Characteristics and expectations of a good public WiFi connection
3) How Public WiFi can Reduce Churn for Operators?
4) Need for WiFi Service Management Platform.
As today’s operators find it hard to cope with the data deluge, they need to decode WiFi and make this wonderful technology work for them in a better manner.
Not long ago, there was a time when the WiFi symbol used to be found only at select coffee shops in big cities to indicate that customers could hook up their mobile devices to the Internet, using WiFi. But today the scenario has changed completely and the same WiFi symbol can now be seen in countless public places of interest, including Airports, shopping malls, large public squares, stadiums etc. Many consumers now own more than one mobility driven device that has WiFi capabilities and as a result, the industry is experiencing a huge increase in public WiFi hotspots as mobile users look for places to connect their multiple devices when they are mobile and away from their office desks or home comfort. In this data-hungry and always-on scenario, providing the much-needed WiFi access to customers has almost become like basic electricity or water, and at times ensures customer loyalty. Hence, in their bid to carve better value propositions for their customers, a number of service providers are now in the process of architecting extensive networks of public WiFi hotspots, to be used by their mobile or home broadband customers. Operators are fast coming to terms with the fact that when customers look for true mobility, enhancing WiFi coverage can ensure a better relationship with their end customers and clearly differentiate them from the rest of the competition. But in order to derive business value from the deployment of WiFi hotspots, the enterprise community and service providers need to better understand their customer behaviour patterns towards utilising WiFi coverage in public hotspots and also clearly understand, what can be done to improve their experience in a better manner.
Public Wants Mobility and WiFi Delivers It.
As expressed by many experts in the industry, consumers using public hotspots are generally quite satisfied with the service, however, there are concerns about further strengthening of security for public WiFi, speed as well as coverage. Today’s new-age consumers are armed with next-generation devices which need always-on connectivity and hence these consumers look for more hotspots in the traditional public WiFi locations, like coffee shops, bars, hotels, and airports or railway stations. In addition to this, an increasing number of consumers also expect hotspots to be available almost seamlessly wherever they go beyond their work, college or home environment. Hence, taking this into account, now there is an acute need to enable WiFi access at hospitals, nursing homes, stores, key points on national highways, and even parks where people go for morning or evening walks.
How Public WiFi can Reduce Churn for Operators?
In view of the above-mentioned advantages of WiFi, a number of service providers around the world are now bundling access to a public WiFi network with their mobile or home broadband offerings to considerably improve customer satisfaction and retention in the long run. This holds big potential to reduce churn for operators and create a unique value proposition by delivering ease of use and reliability for their end-user services.
What brings us to WiFi Service Management Platform?
In order to create innovative opportunities from an upsurge in WiFi usage, operators need to incorporate an efficient WiFi Service Management Platform and this is where our WiFi SMP is creating a big difference in terms of offering a flexible and modular solution that supports multiple business models and enable operators to launch any monetisation opportunity in public WiFi domain. Our WiFi SMP is ideally positioned to enable service providers in terms of meeting an emerging demand of mobile data offload through WiFi and alleviate existing challenges in network congestion. It is a true next generation-ready platform comprising of authentication (EAP SIM/AKA & non-EAP-SIM), billing, captive portal, location-aware services, subscriber analytics, mobile app and integration with Mobile core. This solution is designed keeping in mind today’s challenges being faced by operators and hence it is highly interoperable and supports innovative business models along with multiple off-the-shelf, use cases. Our WiFi SMP has been built around a flexible framework to support a carrier-grade ecosystem and enables operators to tap new revenue opportunities with rapid and cost-effective deployments.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is WiFi?
Put simply, WiFi is a technology that uses radio waves to create a wireless network through which devices like mobile phones, computers, printers, etc., connect to the internet. A wireless router is needed to establish a WiFi hotspot that people in its vicinity may use to access internet services. You’re sure to have encountered such a WiFi hotspot in houses, offices, restaurants, etc.
To get a little more technical, WiFi works by enabling a Wireless Local Area Network or WLAN that allows devices connected to it to exchange signals with the internet via a router. The frequencies of these signals are either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz bandwidths. These frequencies are much higher than those transmitted to or by radios, mobile phones, and televisions since WiFi signals need to carry significantly higher amounts of data. The networking standards are variants of 802.11, of which there are several (802.11a, 802.11b, 801.11g, etc.).