CSPs are leveraging Converged Public Wi-Fi Platform to connect Users, Networks and Devices
Since the launch of smart devices in the market, the population of internet users and consumption of data has increased multi-fold. Carrier networks are in constant struggle to cope up with the high expectations of the users at competitive prices. Everyone wants to stay connected to internet no matter they are at home, office, shopping mall, hotel or airport. In spite of lucrative offers of mobile data and launch of latest 4G networks, Wi-Fi internet is more preferred choice networks over others. The growing trend of Wi-Fi at public venues has changed the business models and service offerings of several businesses in the market. Moreover, Wi-Fi operators have also realized that leveraging the full potential of Wi-Fi platform can enable them to reduce the mobile data infrastructure cost, launch innovative service offerings and enhance service quality.
As per the recent report, the number of IoT devices is expected to grow as many as 50 billion by the year 2020 including smart phones, televisions, cars, watches, cameras, sensor based devices, etc. One can imagine the amount of data that will be consumed and robustness of network needed to cater the huge number of devices. Currently, the most preferred network for IoT devices is wireless internet which can provide constant connectivity without losing the quality of service. Considering the boom in the market, Communication Service Providers (CSPs) have already started investing in public Wi-Fi hotspot networks by which when the network matures they can easily capture the opportunities in the market.
Converged Public Wi-Fi Hotspot Trends
The current trend in the market Public Wi-Fi hotspot has grown much more than just providing connectivity and internet usage. With the help of Wi-Fi service management platform in the network, CSPs have the capability to understand their customer’s behaviour, personalize their offerings, enable roaming services, offer seamless Wi-Fi calling, and monetize using Wi-Fi platforms. The converged public Wi-Fi platform is the current trend in the telecom space and the huge market is expected to grow more than 432 million by 2020 as per a recent report.
Some of the common use case, trends and Wi-Fi services that are observed to grow in the Public Wi-Fi scenario are,
Adopting New Wi-Fi Standards
The latest Wi-Fi standards 802.11ac Wave 2 standards offers higher speed and larger capacity than ever before. Adapting to the newer standards and upgrading their infrastructure to support the improved standard of Wi-Fi, CSPs are able to overcome the challenge of internet speed thirst of users. Laying ready Wi-Fi hotspot and launching innovative service offerings also gives tough competition to 4G players across different regions and cities.
Catering Varied Subscriber Base
With the help of converged public Wi-Fi hotspots, operators can not only able to cater their existing users but also provide high quality services to non-operator subscribers through Public Hotspots. Existing subscribers can use their existing broadband or 2G/3G/4G credentials to access the data through public Wi-Fi network and non-operator subscribers are free to purchase the coupons using which they can enjoy high speed internet. It adds a new revenue generating platform for the CSPs through hotspot network.
The mobile users can be offloaded to the hotspot network by which operators can save their infrastructure cost and reduce the congestion. Existing broadband users have the flexibility and freedom to access their home account at any location where operator’s Hotspot network is deployed. This offers mobile data users to enjoy high speed internet of Wi-Fi avoiding the challenges of connectivity issues in mobile data and broadband customers enjoy the benefit of internet-on-the-go without incurring additional charges or payments.
Monetizing Through Wi-Fi Platform
Each and every secured Wi-Fi platform offers a secured authentication process through which users are hopped into the network. The captive portal tool plays an important role in authenticating the user credentials. At the same time captive portal, a web page through which users login, has the capability to showcase advertisements, flash messages, play videos or even capture user interest through survey before logging in the users.
In collaboration with the advertisers, enterprise business and ad servers, Wi-Fi operators can offer promotions, offers, discounts and deals to users by which they can generate additional revenue. Addressing a mass audience through Wi-Fi platform and advertisement is much cost-effective than other ad models.
Enabling Wi-Fi Calling
Due to the increasing congestions and connectivity issues in voice calling networks, CSPs have started preparing their Public Wi-Fi Hotspots with Wi-Fi calling facilities to enable subscribers to access congestion free and high quality calling network through Wi-Fi. Subscribers can enjoy the benefits of cost-free calling using the Wi-Fi platform to the same mobile number. Through Wi-Fi calling users can receive calls even in the areas where mobile signals are not good. Some of the operators provide branded mobile app to enable the Wi-Fi calling facility.
Wi-Fi Roaming Services
The converged Wi-Fi further amplifies the impact when telecom operators rollout nationwide hotspots. With an advanced Service Management Platform in the world, CSP can enable subscribers to move from one city to another and access seamless Wi-Fi without additional charges or purchased account. This increases the flexibility of Wi-Fi roaming enhance the service offering as well as service quality to subscribers.
In-depth Wi-Fi Analytics Data
When hundreds and thousands of devices are connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot network, a large amount of data is left scattered in the network. Collecting and combining these data offers an in-depth analytical information about the customer journey, interests & choices, current trends in market, customer behaviour and much more. This helps CSPs to launch personalized and customized offering in the market to enhance their business and network.
After large internet tech companies like Facebook and Google, large telcos are planning to expand their Public Wi-Fi hotspot network to rural and urban areas so that they can tap the untapped segment. Robust solution like Sterlite Tech’s Wi-Fi Service Management Platform has a wide experience in offering solutions to large telecom operator networks in the world. The solution has been designed to cater the current and future needs of Wi-Fi services including Wi-Fi Calling, Wi-Fi Roaming, Wi-Fi Analytics and Public Wi-Fi Hotspot Management.
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