Delivering carrier WiFi services from the cloud

As we’ve discussed in a previous post, service providers are moving toward WiFi strategies in order to go beyond traditional access propositions. The challenge is delivering WiFi services tailored to different segments and to do it fast. User needs and competitive pressures change at a dauntingly quick pace.

Is this something new? Well, delivering the best service experience and innovative technology with minimal time to market has always been a must in a market that is notoriously competitive.

So, what’s changed? Over the years, the lines between competitors have blurred. Mobile and fixed operators only used to worry about competing amongst themselves, but border between telco and IT services is disappearing. Operators find themselves up against web players who can release new services from conception to launch within days.

Most service providers have traditionally delivered their services using their own systems with purpose-specific hardware deployed on-premises. This results in high total cost of ownership, long or non-existing upgrade cycles, and lengthy deployments that add up to burdensome network infrastructural costs. IT players that follow cloud and virtualization principles, on the other hand, operate their services with more flexibility and agility, launching in a fraction of the time. Simply put, since their services are software-based, they can change and deploy services much faster.

So-called cloud computing has undoubtedly transformed the environment, but what is it exactly? Cloud computing shifts network functions from hardware to virtual software which improves business agility and efficiency and significantly reducing costs. Many market players like Nokia, Oracle, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon are making huge investments in the cloud. Now, Tier-1 and 2 carriers are following the same path. Not surprisingly, Software-defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) are the latest buzzwords in the industry.

Telco operators that want to develop a cloud ecosystem must opt for a multi-vendor approach because the fast pace of the market means there won’t be a single provider able to offer all of the functionalities necessary to do so.  So, yet a new challenger enters the scene: Successful orchestration while maintaining the end-to-end management of all services. Thus, open APIs are vital for integration with the telco legacy systems from CRM, billing, BI, and network infrastructure.

Implementation is still ongoing, but it’s clear that the time has come for Telco operators to take advantage of the cloud in order to become more flexible, efficient, and cost-effective. WiFi services are especially suited for a cloud service approach enabling service agility, scalability, and pay-as-you-grow business models.

The cornerstone of our WiFi Service Management Solution is our cloud-based WiFi Service Management Platform. Click here to find out how it can help service providers.

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