In the world of mobile broadband, WiFi connectivity has become an integral part of the service offering to customers in motion notably access to internet in public venues. Some of the business drivers for WiFi, a prefered access are:
Leverage the benefits of low-cost access network by traffic steering to WiFi:
The cost of data transfer per MB using WiFi offloading provides more than 60% cost savings as compared to cellular networks considering the cumulative cost of building, maintenance and operating cellular infrastructure. If fact, the market prediction is that more than 45% of the data traffic generated through smart phones will be offloaded to Wifi in another 3 years. Till recent times, Wifi access has been provided to customer as a hospitality or “good-will” service.
In reality the following triggers the operator to take up Wifi offloading as one of the top strategies to ensure better customer experience and cost reduction per MB transfer.
- Spectral overload
- Mobile broadband explosion
- Proliferation of smart phones
Service provider’s B2B partner with Public venue owners for analytics to increase revenue:
Wifi access in public venues such as Airports, shopping malls is common as people in motion are constantly connected to the web. The public venue owners’ goal is to increase their revenue by using advanced analytics as a tool. The effectiveness of advanced analytics will only be realized if the availability of customer data in real-time for promotion, spot discounts and mobile advertisements is captured with relevance. Though the public venue owners’ goal is to increase revenue, the way the data is accessed, analyzed and consumed by different venue owners will vary.
Here is the benefit for specific public venue owners:
The owners would like to have the real time customer data to help the shoppers, retail chains, beverages owners for sales/marketing promotions. In addition, the Wifi providers will have data related to customers travelling to overseas location to provide offers on data roaming and special price plans for frequent flyers.
The customer demography, frequency, duration and time-of-the day visit would help the respective retail chains and food courts to perform location based advertisements and sales promotion. In fact, customer probably orders their food over the mobile apps if menu from food courts are made available for a particular time of the day. That particular food chain could respond back with time to serve the customer to the avoid unnecessary wait to collect the food.
This venue is occupied only when any event has been planned on the particular day. The customer data would provide specialized discounts on specific videos or recorded replays or messaging services by understanding the customer demography and usage patterns. The service passes to login to specific web sites related to the stadiums or events for no additional cost to attract many smart phone users.
University campuses will have food courts, stadiums and auditoriums, the venue owners could build similar data monetization opportunities mentioned in shopping malls and stadium sessions.
Rapid deployment of Carrier grade Wifi:
In many indoor and public locations, the Wifi infrastructures are proprietary and it is a “dark corner” for operators. In other words, this kind of Wifi infrastructure is owned by private owners without any partnership or agreement with Carriers or operators. But large communication service providers like AT&T, T-mobile Germany and China Mobile are investing on deployment of their Wifi infrastructure for better data monetization, standardization and to improve their quality of service. The customer will enjoy the benefit of “everything-everywhere” access whereas communication service provider possibly shares the aggressed data with B2B owners as one of their data monetization opportunity.
New 3GPP Standards supports seamless Wifi connection:
As per 3GPP Release 12 standard, SIM authentication is sufficient to gain access to Wifi as it prevents the hassle of re-login to Wifi hotspots every time a customer enters a different Wifi zone. So Wifi access is becoming user friendly for smart phones owners.
Without doubt, the Wifi role is changing to provide additional revenue opportunity both for operators and venue owners.