Carriers to embrace the Wi-Fi opportunity in 2014

December 19, 2013 // By Steve Hratko, Ruckus Wireless
Carriers to embrace the Wi-Fi opportunity in 2014
Throughout 2013 we have seen further adoption of Wi-Fi by mobile operators, as carriers look to ease congestion on their networks and provide customers with the best possible experience.

In fact, according to a Wireless Broadband Alliance survey of its global carrier and vendor members, 22 per cent of new data capacity will come from carrier owned and managed Wi-Fi networks in the coming year. We’ve already seen the likes of O2 invest heavily in hotspots, and many are starting to sign roaming agreements with retailers, MSOs and wireless ISPs. This trend is only set to continue. Steve Hratko, Director of Service Provider (SP)/Carrier Marketing, Ruckus Wireless, provides his view on what 2014 will bring.

Carriers have the ‘hots’ for partners

A hot topic in 2014 will be HotSpot 2.0, which looks to radically simplify the user process of securely connecting to a Wi-Fi network and roaming between different Wi-Fi networks. In 2014, we expect large scale Hotspot 2.0 roaming consortiums to become a reality. They will allow automatic and secure connectivity to Wi-Fi networks with tens of thousands of roaming partners and millions of access points. Most of these partners will consist of public venues that have extensive indoor Wi-Fi deployments.

In addition, cable Multiple System Operators (MSOs) worldwide will continue to aggressively embrace Wi-Fi technology as a way to fend off over-builders, add to their service package, and grab the best locations. This will also set the stage for roaming relationships with mobile operators in the future, especially with the continued rise of HotSpot 2.0.

On location

Indoor location technologies have received a lot of attention in the mobile world in 2013. By knowing where clients are, companies are able to help them get wherever they need to go, make the network experience better for them, use data from their location to optimise their experience, provide them with offers, and tell them something along the way. Carriers have a strong interest in offering location services and analytics – not only to better tune their network but to also help monetise them. Smarter Wi-Fi services, which add granular


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