Posts Tagged ‘network’

There’s No Place Like Home….A Home With Good Service, That Is

March 6, 2013

There is nothing more frustrating than losing a call after entering a building, and unfortunately there is a direct correlation between the increasing prevalence of “dropped calls”, and the use of “green” construction materials.  While there are various factors which harbor potential to hinder cellular connectivity levels within a structure (ie. location and terrain), a main culprit is the use of LEED Certified building materials. Luckily there is a solution.Image

CellBOOST™ designed to bring cellular signal from outdoors inside a building using strategically placed antennas, is the answer. At a fraction of the cost of an elaborate DAS system, CellBOOST™ provides the level of service residents need, by offering seamless connectivity between outdoors and indoors. In addition to conquering cellular service issues, CellBOOST™ integrates property-wide Wi-Fi, and is Passpoint™/Hotspot 2.0 compatible, as we prepare ourselves for the next wave in Wi-Fi/Cellular technology: Next Generation Hotspots (NGH).

NGH is on the horizon, and quite the exciting advancement for the wireless industry; with the potential to change cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity forever. The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) is responsible for this program, and it is predicted they will go commercial with their “seamless and secure cellular-to-Wi-Fi” roaming initiative in 2014.

The NGH program has multiple advantages from a design perspective, both for end users and carriers. Customers will experience a seamless, high-quality level of service as their devices automatically connect to the best available network, whether it be Wi-Fi or cellular. Where calls were previously dropped when entering cellularly-challenged buildings, now one’s device (in theory) will automatically connect them to the Wi-Fi network within that building, allowing them to remain on the phone, and also allowing said user to save money, in addition to data-offloading advantages for both the carrier, and user alike.

Carriers involved with the NGH program are in process of testing protocols implemented by the program, which will essentially allow Passpoint™ certified devices, which when connected to Passpoint™ certified equipment, know what network said device is currently using, and if there are better options available. In addition to this, the carrier can then set standards for their particular equipment/networks, which would “channel” users onto certain networks, either cellular or Wi-Fi, at predetermined times of day, or at times when a certain network is perhaps particularly overloaded.

While these advances are all very exciting, and plausible, they are still on the horizon. Combating cellular connectivity problems is an immediate issue, and a major one, at that. Implementing a system such as CellBOOST™ would certainly eliminate any sort of connectivity inadequacies, and also provide money-saving opportunities for residents by taking advantage of data-offload. CellBOOST™, while providing an immediate solution to cellular connectivity problems, utilizes Passpoint™ Certified equipment, for flawless integration in the future.

Just How Important is Wi-Fi?

January 14, 2013

The proof is in the pudding. A recent survey conducted by global research and consultancy firm Analysys Mason for Amdocs reveals that not only is Wi-Fi evolving into a critical differentiator for service providers, but also revealed just how important it is.

                Regardless of lingering technical and business related issues, 89% of all surveyed service providers (which include fixed, mobile, and cable), either already have or planned to deploy/leverage a Wi-Fi network. In addition to this, respondents rated the importance of Wi-Fi as >7 out of 10, with emphasis on the value of Wi-Fi for growth as a service provider.  Most business owners tend to equate “Wi-Fi” with free access, and, if this is you, this might be key to differentiating your business. Free Wi-Fi access is a great way to essentially reward your customers for their patronage, and incents them to come back. With many network providers also offering email marketing kits linked to the Wi-Fi network, there is no limit to the advantages and benefits one might yield. Think as a business owner for a second: if you had the ability to completely customize the splash page of your in-house Wi-Fi network with branding, offers, coupons, and other enticing offers for your customers, wouldn’t you fully take advantage of this massive marketing advantage? Sounds like a win-win situation for business owners and service providers alike.Image

                It is no secret that people want Wi-Fi, and they want it everywhere—seamlessly. Numerous municipal efforts to implement Wi-Fi prove this; and although many of those efforts have been terminated, cities are still striving for blanket Wi-Fi availability, including Chicago and Seattle who are both looking toward the advent of public and private networks, and New York City who just made an agreement with Google to light up part of the city.

                A “seamless experience”, between cellular and Wi-Fi, which rated a staggering 8.1 out of 10 by those surveyed, still proves to be one of the top technical barriers in deploying; second only to authentication issues.  Amdocs own vice president for product solutions marketing, Rebecca Prudhomme, stated, “This underscores the importance of having secure, scalable authentication and authorization solutions in place for ensuring a seamless experience as customers move in and out of the Wi-Fi network. Furthermore, real-time policy control opens up new opportunities for Wi-Fi monetization by allowing service providers to offer a range of differentiated services over Wi-Fi, such as tiered services and premium quality of service.” Which brings me to my next point:

                Monetization. As most of the technical issues will be sorted out in due time, another area which needs a fair amount of innovation are service providers’ monetization models. While a generous 57% of service providers whom have already deployed Wi-Fi networks state they are monetizing their offerings, the survey also found that many of them are looking to revamp “old” monetization models which eliminate directly charging customers.

“Our research shows that while the service provider Wi-Fi market is still in its early stages, service providers are adopting a forward looking attitude that goes beyond using regular Wi-Fi to offload congested 3G and 4G networks. While offload is still a priority, it’s clear that service providers are looking to service provider Wi-Fi as a competitive differentiator, and there is strong interest in exploring new and innovative business models for Wi-Fi monetization.”,  said Chris Nicoll, principal analyst at Analysys Mason. This survey has revealed much about where the service providers will likely take the market next, and has also shed some insight onto the importance of Wi-Fi for not only data offload, but for a competitive advantage.Freeing up data with the implementation of Wi-Fi networks, either city-wide or more localized will certainly be a massive stepping stone in this technological era we are experiencing.