Bandwidth problems slowing you down? Try a continuous data connection

Last updated: 25 April 2014

Most of us have been in a position where we rely on a mobile internet connection to perform our daily tasks, like accessing maps on the way to a meeting, or checking information updated in real-time, be that via text updates or rich image/video sharing. One thing we know for certain is that the insatiable demand for smartphones, tablets, and other connected devices is generating staggering amounts of mobile data.

As this Cisco report suggests, until recently, most mobile industry executives viewed WiFi as the ‘poor cousin’ to licensed mobile communications. Most mobile operators now realize that offloading data traffic to WiFi can, and must, play a significant role in helping them avoid clogged networks and unhappy customers. Shoppers, for example, are coming to expect WiFi in stores. In a recent survey by SapientNitro and GfK Roper, 63% of respondents said free WiFi would enhance their shopping experience.

Daily usage of mobile devices is high, although they are not always connected to the internet. Over half of mobile device users visit social networks and use apps daily, and half of those users perform these activities at least several times in the day. The top reason for choosing WiFi, conversely, is that respondents find it much faster than mobile networks. This leaves a huge opportunity for mobile operators to take advantage of WiFi to automatically manage networks across different technologies (3G/4G/WiFI).

Research suggests that some service providers (SPs) are struggling to understand new business models for making money from WiFi. SPs are beginning to evaluate WiFi business models that provide advantages beyond offloading and retention. Notably, Cisco IBSG tested five business models with the following results:

Model 1: Accepting general advertising for free WiFi access

o    Average interest of 2.9 out of 5

Model 2: Accepting personalized marketing for free WiFi access

o    Average interest of 2.8 out of 5

Model 3: Secure WiFi access to remotely stored content in a digital locker

o    Average interest of 3.1 out of 5

Model 4: National/international WiFi roaming

o    Average interest of 3.3 out of 5.

Model 5: Enhanced in-store shopping experience (e.g., product information, mapping, coupons)

o    Average interest of 3.1 out of 5

Gemalto’s Advanced WiFi Services help MNOs securely tackle network saturation and provide the best network to complement 4G deployments. As a result, they can answer the demand of increasing data usage with lower distribution costs per GB compared to traditional networks. With Gemalto, MNOs can apply business rules such as time, location, bandwidth and network coverage to implement the most suitable network switch, meaning subscribers are offloaded seamlessly to WiFi networks to ensure the highest quality of service at all times.

How do you prefer to access data? Let us know below.

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