Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Moshe Kranc, John Basso, AppNeta Blog, SmartBear Blog, Liz McMillan

Blog Feed Post

How Service Providers Can Monetize Wi-Fi

The insatiable demand for smartphones, tablets, and other connected devices is generating staggering amounts of mobile data and placing a crushing burden on networks. One barometer is the recently released Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI), which predicts that global mobile data traffic will increase 13-fold from 2012 to 2017, reaching 11.2 exabytes per month. In parallel, the use of Wi-Fi for Internet access is also exploding, as more mobile devices are Wi-Fi enabled, the number of public hotspots expands, and user acceptance grows.

The two trends are intersecting in crucial ways.

 

Until recently, most technologists and mobile-industry executives viewed Wi-Fi as the “poor cousin” to licensed mobile communications. And they saw little role for it in mobile networks or their business. The upsurge of mobile-data traffic has changed all of that. Most mobile operators now realize that offloading data traffic to Wi-Fi can, and must, play a significant role in helping them to avoid clogged networks and unhappy customers.

 

Mobile operators understand the business case behind off-loading data traffic to cheaper Wi-Fi—deferring significant capital expenditures for further build-out of the licensed network. However, they ask, is there more to Wi-Fi than just data offload? And, more appropriately, can they actually make money from Wi-Fi—turning a cost of doing business into profitable business models? The simple answer is, yes. In fact, the Cisco® Internet Business Group (IBSG) has identified and built business cases with service providers around 15 additional ways to benefit from Wi-Fi, beyond data off-loading.

 

IBSG’s white paper, Profiting from the Rise of Wi-Fi, describes these business models in more detail, but the 15 business models basically fall into four different categories:

 

  1. Business Effectiveness—using Wi-Fi access networks to decrease operational costs or improve customer retention and service differentiation
  2. End-User Services—solutions for business and consumer end users using Wi-Fi for internet connectivity for their devices (e.g., smartphones, tablets, laptops)
  3. Intercarrier Wholesale—providing Wi-Fi-based services to other service providers, (e.g., cellular network operators, Wi-Fi providers)
  4. Value-Added Services—enhancing basic Wi-Fi access with additional services and alternative funding models



As the pervasiveness and customer adoption of Wi-Fi continue to grow exponentially, these new business models are providing real and meaningful opportunities for service providers. For example, we are seeing home broadband providers improve their customer retention by 10 to 15 percent through bundling free public Wi-Fi access with their broadband service. In addition, we believe that by offering a Wi-Fi enabled “Business Anywhere” service, operators can generate $10‑15 per business user per month. In the retail setting, delivering enhanced, value-added services will bring an incremental $100-150 per store; this is on top of the $50-250 that operators charge per wireless access point to run a managed Wi‑Fi service for retailers. 

 

But don’t take our word for it. End users tell us that they want these new Wi‑Fi business models and see great value in them. Unique mobile-customer research by IBSG (What Do Consumers Want From Wi-Fi) revealed that mobile users appreciate the lower cost and unlimited data usage of Wi-Fi and greatly value the flexibility and convenience that it offers. In particular, customers were interested in the national/international roaming business models and the Wi-Fi value-added retail offerings. These, consumers believed, would make them more efficient, save them money, and enhance their shopping experiences. Among U.S. broadband subscribers who identified that free public Wi-Fi was part of their subscription, a remarkable 61 percent told us that the inclusion of Wi-Fi was very or extremely important in their choice of broadband provider.  The inclusion is not only a good way to attract subscribers; it is also a good way to keep them. 

 

Of course, not all business models are attractive to all service provider segments.  Business models will need to be aligned to the different industry segments, while priorities are set and a starting plan created. We feel that our research, insights, and recommended approach will arm SPs with guidelines for setting priorities and determining which strategy is best for making real money from Wi‑Fi.

 

About the Author

Stuart Taylor's further industry research, insights, and perspectives can be found at his blog, The Connected Life

Follow Stuart Taylor on Twitter: @STaylorCisco

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Deborah Strickland

The articles presented here are blog posts from members of our Service Provider Mobility community. Deborah Strickland is a Web and Social Media Program Manager at Cisco. Follow us on Twitter @CiscoSPMobility.

@ThingsExpo Stories
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
Big Data, cloud, analytics, contextual information, wearable tech, sensors, mobility, and WebRTC: together, these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Erik Perotti, Senior Manager of New Ventures on Plantronics’ Innovation team, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it ...
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
Is your aging software platform suffering from technical debt while the market changes and demands new solutions at a faster clip? It’s a bold move, but you might consider walking away from your core platform and starting fresh. ReadyTalk did exactly that. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, will discuss why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and over a decade of audio conferencing product development to start an innovati...
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, discussed the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to focus...
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that LeaseWeb USA, a cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LeaseWeb is one of the world's largest hosting brands. The company helps customers define, develop and deploy IT infrastructure tailored to their exact business needs, by combining various kinds cloud solutions.
Manufacturers are embracing the Industrial Internet the same way consumers are leveraging Fitbits – to improve overall health and wellness. Both can provide consistent measurement, visibility, and suggest performance improvements customized to help reach goals. Fitbit users can view real-time data and make adjustments to increase their activity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mark Bernardo Professional Services Leader, Americas, at GE Digital, discussed how leveraging the Industrial Internet a...
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Venafi, the Immune System for the Internet™ and the leading provider of Next Generation Trust Protection, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Venafi is the Immune System for the Internet™ that protects the foundation of all cybersecurity – cryptographic keys and digital certificates – so they can’t be misused by bad guys in attacks...
The best-practices for building IoT applications with Go Code that attendees can use to build their own IoT applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Indraneel Mitra, Senior Solutions Architect & Technology Evangelist at Cognizant, provided valuable information and resources for both novice and experienced developers on how to get started with IoT and Golang in a day. He also provided information on how to use Intel Arduino Kit, Go Robotics API and AWS IoT stack to build an application tha...
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings in the last year, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their back-end AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT – especially in the connected home and office. Amazon is extending its reach by building on its dominant Cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strategy, recently announced Replenishment Services, the Echo/Alexa voice recognition control platform, the 6-7 strategic...
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.
IoT generates lots of temporal data. But how do you unlock its value? You need to discover patterns that are repeatable in vast quantities of data, understand their meaning, and implement scalable monitoring across multiple data streams in order to monetize the discoveries and insights. Motif discovery and deep learning platforms are emerging to visualize sensor data, to search for patterns and to build application that can monitor real time streams efficiently. In his session at @ThingsExpo, ...
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) and Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) have entered into a definitive agreement under which Verizon will acquire Yahoo's operating business for approximately $4.83 billion in cash, subject to customary closing adjustments. Yahoo informs, connects and entertains a global audience of more than 1 billion monthly active users** -- including 600 million monthly active mobile users*** through its search, communications and digital content products. Yahoo also co...
There will be new vendors providing applications, middleware, and connected devices to support the thriving IoT ecosystem. This essentially means that electronic device manufacturers will also be in the software business. Many will be new to building embedded software or robust software. This creates an increased importance on software quality, particularly within the Industrial Internet of Things where business-critical applications are becoming dependent on products controlled by software. Qua...
In addition to all the benefits, IoT is also bringing new kind of customer experience challenges - cars that unlock themselves, thermostats turning houses into saunas and baby video monitors broadcasting over the internet. This list can only increase because while IoT services should be intuitive and simple to use, the delivery ecosystem is a myriad of potential problems as IoT explodes complexity. So finding a performance issue is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
Large scale deployments present unique planning challenges, system commissioning hurdles between IT and OT and demand careful system hand-off orchestration. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Smith, Senior Director and a founding member of Incenergy, will discuss some of the key tactics to ensure delivery success based on his experience of the last two years deploying Industrial IoT systems across four continents.