Wi-Fi providers driven to stand out

Staff writer
26 Feb 2013

Service differentiation is now viewed as the top driver for Wi-Fi, ahead of Wi-Fi data offloading, according to an Analysys Mason study.

The research, sponsored by Amdocs, also found that discovering new ways to monetize Wi-Fi is becoming a top priority for service providers.

Analysys Mason interviewed by telephone decision-makers at 33 operators in North America, Caribbean and Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific.

Nine out of 10 service providers surveyed have either deployed, or plan to deploy or leverage, Wi-Fi networks. On average, respondents ranked Wi-Fi's importance as 7 in a scale of 1-10.

Two out of five operators cited service differentiation as the top driver for their Wi-Fi strategies. This indicates that operators expect Wi-Fi to be more than a solution for simply offloading congested networks and are interested in using it to provide incremental value to their customers.

In terms of importance, operators gave an average of 8.1 out 10 to providing a seamless subscriber experience between cellular and Wi-Fi networks. This suggests that they view a high-quality customer experience across 3G/4G/Wi-Fi as a top priority.

However, user authentication ranked highest among the top technical barriers to deploying Wi-Fi. This highlights the importance of flexible and secure authentication in achieving a seamless experience.

Similarly, Wi-Fi roaming - while still a relatively immature market - was ranked an average of 8 out of 10 in terms of strategic importance.

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