5 Nov 2014

Wi-Fi Calling and Venue Wi-Fi: Two Big Trends for 2015

By Johan Terve, VP Marketing, Aptilo Networks

AfricaCom will be buzzing with two of the hottest trends for 2015: Wi-Fi Calling and Venue Wi-Fi. These trends are crucial for carriers looking to monetize Wi-Fi.

While the ability to make voice calls over Wi-Fi has been around for some time, next-generation Wi-Fi Calling has come of age thanks to some bold moves in our industry. Next-gen Wi-Fi Calling uses any Wi-Fi network for transporting voice calls that would normally go over cellular networks. All of a sudden mobile operators can offer coverage for their voice services everywhere people are connected to Wi-Fi.

Don’t mix this up with the Voice over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi) solutions, with third-party clients in the device, that have been available for many years. This is a next-generation Wi-Fi Calling with VoWiFi and VoLTE support natively integrated in the smartphone dialer, which offers a totally seamless user experience (will also work for GSM).

The Aptilo Wi-Fi calling solution, with our advanced 3GPP AAA, performs the critical functions of authenticating users and applying any necessary policies for the Wi-Fi calling service and provides some innovative features to make it all work in real-world deployments.

With Wi-Fi Calling mobile operators can take care of 100% of their subscribers’ need for voice – a significant customer retention opportunity.  They can do this without deploying a single Wi-Fi access point. However, there are at least two very good reasons why mobile operators should deploy Wi-Fi:

  • According to a recent study by Mobidia, without Wi-Fi footprint mobile operators will potentially end up taking care of just 10-20% of their subscribers’ data traffic. This will have a significant impact on churn.
  • They will get better control of quality of service (QoS) for Wi-Fi Calling in their own Wi-Fi networks.

Another big trend for 2015 is Venue Wi-Fi, and Aptilo SMP bridges the gap between Carrier Wi-Fi and the kind of Wi-Fi one would find in, for example, a sports stadium. Carrier Wi-Fi is focused on providing a secure, automatic login of users while venue Wi-Fi requires user interaction for branding and advertising. By combining the benefits of Carrier and Venue Wi-Fi, operators can offer venue owners Wi-Fi services to deliver an engaging end-user experience that will keep users coming back for more.
They can do this while providing a secure carrier-class service with automatic authentication flows for selected user groups.

For instance, Wi-Fi can be integrated with various types of applications and information to engage with consumers, drive social media exposure and learn about users/guests to provide more relevant services. Custom-branded Wi-Fi portals can anchor site- and event-specific advertising and marketing initiatives. Wi-Fi landing pages and login pages and advertising can be branded to reflect the venue, teams, sporting events, and even sponsors. These branded opportunities reach guests in a unique and memorable way.

Visit Aptilo Networks at stand B3 at AfricaCom to learn how we can help you to Step Up Your Wi-Fi which is our theme for this year’s event. Register for your AfricaCom pass here: http://africa.comworldseries.com/register/


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