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Wi-Fi is ‘open’ for business, which is good news for mobile subscribers

January 08, 2014 | David Nowicki, CMO of Devicescape | 222904606
Wi-Fi is ‘open’ for business, which is good news for mobile subscribers Following the news that Netgear has built a Facebook-linked amenity Wi-Fi option into its routers, enabling businesses to offer free Wi-Fi in return for liking the company Facebook page, David Nowicki, CMO at Devicescape comments about the growing adoption of amenity Wi-Fi by businesses and the opportunities this provides to mobile operators.

“Amenity Wi-Fi, those access points and networks that are intentionally shared, is on the increase in markets around the world, driven by consumer demand for connectivity on the go. Businesses of all shapes and sizes are transforming themselves into Wi-Fi hotspots. Wi-Fi has become essential for businesses to attract customers and market services in-store. This rapidly growing network of available hotspots also presents a huge opportunity for mobile operators to extend capacity-reach and ensure seamless connectivity for their subscribers."
“Amenity Wi-Fi falls into a number of categories – from entirely open and requiring no action from the user to completely locked down by a password that is only individually shared with trusted users. Increasingly, making Wi-Fi easily available is becoming the preferred model for businesses and other organisations."
“In London, for example, Oxford Street is full of venues offering different kinds of Wi-Fi access. Topshop’s flagship store on Oxford St provides customers with free Wi-Fi as do retailers John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, Nike and UniQlo. But this model isn’t restricted to retailers Barclays Bank has announced the rollout of Wi-Fi hotspots across 1,500 UK branches. Large retailers and banks don’t want to manage vast amounts of passwords but they have made a conscious decision to make Wi-Fi easily accessible. This is being copied by the smaller chains and independents because they also see the value of offering Wi-Fi to customers."
“From a mobile operator’s point of view, an amenity Wi-Fi strategy allows them to ensure an 'always best connected' experience for subscribers, removing any unexpected costs associated with mobile data usage, or a reluctance to access Wi-Fi because of unreliable connectivity or slow data speeds. Disparate Wi-Fi networks acting independently may not offer an operator a carrier-grade solution, but when the world’s amenity Wi-Fi is carefully curated and scrutinised for quality and reliability, it delivers on QoE and extends capacity reach further than any cellular network in operation today.”

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