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Wi-Fi Wireless Trends 2015: The New Network


When heading toward the snack stand, the Wi-Fi network throughout the stadium will recognize where you are and send you a coupon for a free soda the same time it updates you with real-time game stats.

Trend #4: Cable MSOs go all-in on Wi-Fi

Competition from mobile operators has forced cable operators (MSOs) to provide more nomadic Internet access by deploying Wi-Fi. By creating a separate virtual network (SSID) in the cable box in a subscriber’s home, a so-called Homespot, MSOs can use that excess data capacity to offer Wi-Fi services to their existing customers.

Wi-Fi services are especially attractive for cable MSOs that also are offering MVNO-based cellular services over a third-party network, as onloading as much data as possible onto their own Wi-Fi network will reduce their third-party costs significantly. This trend will most surely accelerate in 2015 with the introduction of Wi-Fi Calling.

Trend #5: Venue Wi-Fi

The 2014 FIFA World Cup was one of the first, big demonstrations of large scale Venue Wi-Fi. By having the privilege of supporting customers such as TIM Brasil and Oi with their carrier Wi-Fi and offloading solutions, we have good insight in this success story; and I can say with some confidence that we are at the tip of the iceberg with regard to Venue Wi-Fi. Next year we’ll see venues taking this to a whole new level: offering branded Wi-Fi that uses location-based information to offer users a personalized service. When heading toward the snack stand, the Wi-Fi network throughout the stadium will recognize where you are and send you a coupon for a free soda the same time it updates you with real-time game stats. At the end of the event, your smartphone guides you to the closest exit.

Trend #6: Venue Wi-Fi for footprint

Carriers are also using Venue Wi-Fi to gain footprint. They are looking to bridge the gap between Carrier Wi-Fi and Venue Wi-Fi. This is all about a secure, automatic user login while still offering user interaction for branding and advertising at specific venues.

Trend #7: Monetizing “free” Wi-Fi

All this free Wi-Fi needs to be monetized. In 2015 we’ll see a much stronger push from carriers leveraging opportunities to sell Wi-Fi to brands, or venues, to generate revenue with Wi-Fi.

Trend #8: Integrating social media

You will also see more integration with social media, and location-based technology to personalize the Wi-Fi experience. Learning more about users provides carriers with a wealth of data for different marketing activities.   

Trend #9: Small Cells and Wi-Fi coexist

Small cells will be yet another driver of Wi-Fi simply because the majority of small cells will include Wi-Fi capabilities. It’s up to the operators to decide which radio technologies and spectrums to be activated, but as small cells predominately will be deployed indoors at the same time the operators are in need of all the spectrum they can get, together with the fact that many of today´s devices love Wi-Fi, leads to a natural conclusion that we will see an increase in Wi-Fi availability with the small cell deployments to come.

From a pure technical point of view, small cells can be considered a head-to-head competition to Wi-Fi'; that’s, however, a shortsighted way to look at it as Wi-Fi adoption mainly is driven by device capability and end-user preferences. Wi-Fi and small cells will, therefore, coexist and become part of each other’s framework.



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