Decoding Public Wi-Fi

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As today’s operators find it hard to cope with the data deluge, they need to decode Wi-Fi and make this wonderful technology work for them in a better manner Not long ago, there was a time when the Wi-Fi 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 Wi-Fi, but today the scenario has changed completely and the same Wi-Fi 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 Wi-Fi capabilities and as a result, the industry is experiencing a huge increase in public Wi-Fi 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 Wi-Fi 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 Wi-Fi 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 Wi-Fi coverage can ensure better relationship with their end customers and clearly differentiate themselves from the rest of the competition. But in order to derive business value from the deployment of Wi-Fi hotspots, the enterprise community and service providers need to better understand their customer behaviour patterns towards utilising Wi-Fi coverage in public hotspots and also clearly understand, what can be done to improve their experience in a better manner. Public Wants Mobility and Wi-Fi 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 Wi-Fi, 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 Wi-Fi 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 Wi-Fi access at hospitals, nursing homes, stores, key points on national highways, and even parks where people go for morning or evening walks. How Public Wi-Fi can Reduce Churn for Operators In view of the above mentioned advantages of Wi-Fi, a number of service providers around the world are now bundling access to a public Wi-Fi network with their mobile or home broadband offerings to considerably improve customer satisfaction and retention on the long run. This holds big potential to reduce churn for operators and create unique value proposition by delivering ease of use and reliability for their end user services. Need for Wi-Fi Service Management Platform In order to create innovative opportunities from an upsurge in Wi-Fi usage, operators need to incorporate efficient Wi-Fi Service Management Platform and this is where Elitecore’s Wi-Fi 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 Wi-Fi domain. Elitecore Wi-Fi SMP is ideally positioned to enable service providers in terms of meeting an emerging demand of mobile data offload through Wi-Fi and alleviate existing challenges in network congestion. It is a true next generation-ready platform comprising of authentication (EAP SIM/AKA & non-EAPSIM), 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. Elitecore Wi-Fi SMP has been built around a flexible framework to support carrier-grade ecosystem and enables operators to tap new revenue opportunities with rapid and cost effective deployments.

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