7 key points that will define the future of WiFi
Since its birth in 1985, the WiFi industry has grown exponentially. Although originally designed to replace Ethernet cables in local computer networks, nowadays WiFi’s use is ubiquitous. At Fon we know that WiFi has to be an integrated and customer-centric technology, and our CEO, Alex Puregger, recently highlighted seven key points that will define the WiFi revolution in coming years:
– WiFi Offloading will increase dramatically as mobile data traffic booms fueled by video. Cisco expects a sevenfold increase in growth of mobile data traffic by 2021, and more than 60% of traffic will be offloaded this year via WiFi networks.
– Driven by carrier WiFi managed hotspots, the number of hotspots will grow exponentially. The number of carrier-grade hotspots will soon outnumber other access points installed, a significant step forward for the convergence of cellular and WiFi. Today there are close to 100M hotspots globally, and Cisco expects more than 500M by 2021.
– Leveraging WiFi for neutral host deployments in highly frequented spaces. WiFi infrastructure already exists in the majority of these locations, such as arenas, malls, and airports, so it will be a win-win solution for all involved parties. Host providers, mobile operators, and venue owners can all take advantage of the cost savings and the efficiency of sharing infrastructure. WiFi also enables a lot of value-added services such as proximity marketing, indoor positioning, advertising, and analytics.
– Network Functions Virtualization will impact the WiFi ecosystem. The separation of WiFi software from hardware functions, and provisioning from a centralized management plane, will lead to many advantages. The most sought-after benefit, service agility, will enable quick commissioning and decommissioning of new services.
– WiFi will be essential for IoT connectivity. According to the WBA, during the last year, more than 85% of companies have increased the priority level of IoT on their roadmap. WiFi will be the technology of choice for any higher bandwidth requirements.
– Home WiFi will be the basic battleground for the Connected Home. A significant proportion of consumers are dissatisfied with the quality of their WiFi connection at home. ISPs are challenged to address the issues effectively or new players will win in that field.
– The WiFi disruption by OTT players has only just begun. Google, Amazon, and Facebook, among others, are entering the WiFi space. Through different approaches, they intend to improve overall WiFi usability, use WiFi to bring internet to the next billion people, and offer WiFi solutions with a customer centric and data analytics-driven approach.
With these trends in mind, we have evolved our cutting-edge WiFi Service Management Solution, providing Communications Service Providers (CSPs) with the necessary end-to-end functionality needed to deploy and manage WiFi services and unlock new business potential. The carrier-grade solution enables CSPs to deliver WiFi services that are managed just like cellular and fixed services, helping them to differentiate and achieve business goals through multiple use cases, such as WiFi Offload, WiFi Calling, and WiFi Monetization, and WiFi as a Service, with advanced guest WiFi functionalities.
We have also developed our Enhanced Connectivity Solution, that allows CSPs to offer an always-best-connected experience for their users by connecting them automatically to the best network available. The solution collects valuable data, that gives operators complete visibility of network performance from the perspective of the end-consumer.