If there was one missing piece for mobile operators trying to solve their Wi-Fi puzzle, it would be having a practical revenue model that can guarantee new sources of income!
Indeed, most operators would agree that having Wi-Fi offerings in their portfolio significantly boosts customer satisfaction while reducing churn but that also brings the question of justifying cost expenses in setting up Wi-Fi networks. Monetizing Wi-Fi has become a compelling necessity due to the sheer pervasiveness of Wi-Fi enabled devices; everywhere people go to, their devices connect them through Wi-Fi available in homes, offices and public spaces – stadiums, shopping malls, hotels, convention centers and airports .
However, translating this necessity into reality is not that easy. No matter what stage of Wi-Fi adoption operators find themselves in, they usually lack innovative ways to monetize Wi-Fi beyond direct charging of customers or hybrid options such as bundled Wi-Fi with existing data plans. Rather than only charge for Wi-Fi use directly, it makes more sense to target customers with real time Wi-Fi connectivity scenarios and promote content tailored to their interests.
Key challenges for operators in Wi-Fi monetization include:
So, if there was a service management platform that could overcome above challenges, wouldn’t it clearly allow operators to have greater control on their monetization strategy?
Let us think one step ahead – What if operators stopped viewing these scenarios in isolation, but integrate them into a single, consolidated framework of monetization that could be applied universally to any business model (hospitality, enterprise, residential etc.), use case (roaming, advertising, discounts and coupons, classic Wi-Fi), venue/location, device (EAP SIM, non EAP SIM) or user profile?
The advantages of a framework approach to monetizing Wi-Fi are many: for one, the interlinking between user latch-on access and location-specific services would allow operators to discover, reach out, and connect to a broad range of users and devices in random locations which they couldn’t possibly through individual user segments. Considering that users are statistically in and around a Wi-Fi zone almost 70-80% of the time, there’s strong potential for operators to regain a huge chunk of missed revenue opportunities as the whole Wi-Fi eco-system just got a bit bigger.
The interlinking between customer analytics and data for connected users can be converted into profitable revenue models through personalized push notification for Wi-Fi which can further enable partnership deals with advertisers so that operators can receive commission from each impression. Furthermore, geo-fencing of Wi-Fi coverage can attract and confine profitable users to operator-defined locations.
In an era of automatic system selection and automatic login, people are getting fed up with extensive sign-up and registration processes that screen access to Wi-Fi services in some locations. This creates huge opportunity for operators if there was a framework to identify users with say EAP SIM devices that could be automatically redirected to Wi-Fi connectivity hotspots in an operator-defined location.