Giving a Hi5 to Residential Wi-Fi
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Where do you think most people primarily need Wi-Fi connectivity? According to Parks Associates, by 2017, over 820 million households worldwide will have Internet service, with more than 94% of it being on broadband. Averagely, 60-70% users across Europe, US and UK have Wi-FI penetration. It means neither public nor private hotspots come any close to the staggeringly high revenue potential represented by residential subscribers. These figures come as no surprise as people do spend a lot of time in their homes so if service providers can somehow integrate existing residential networks with their vast hotspot infrastructure, it means a direct win-win for both operators as well as subscribers: the former can reach out to untapped residential segments with prepaid and postpaid offerings while the latter can enjoy uninterrupted connectivity and rich user experience across multiple devices. However, in order to translate this vision into reality, operators need to set a few things in order: firstly, the Service Management Platform (SMP) should support Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) provisioning to combine LAN cable and Wi-Fi in the residential building. It involves checking Wi-Fi feasibility at user premises, installing and activating the CPE and supporting proper payment methods. Secondly, to make the dealer acquisition process more effortless with less manual intervention, the operator should provide their resellers access to centralized portals that can directly handle order-to-cash requirements at customer premises. Last but not the least, while connecting subscribers’ 3G accounts with their residential network sounds cool, operators can truly delight this consumer segment if they can deliver premium SP hotspot access to all residential users who apply for their 3G services, offering seamless seamless connectivity and positive user experience across randomly located hotspots based on their existing residential accounts. To do so, they must route this access through an AAA-driven captive portal (or Voucher Management, in case of walk-in users, on-the-spot registration) where SMP components like Rating & Charging do the necessary billing and balance deduction adjustments. At a time when operators have access to so much intelligent data including maps of customer homes and Wi-Fi hotspots, residential Wi-Fi services can form an essential component of their revenue strategy to simplify subscribers’ devices access both in and out of the home.