Smart Devices have revolutionized the way we live. Wi-Fi has enabled internet access and ‘anytime-anywhere’ connectivity at a touch of a button. This interrelated demand of ‘mobility’ and ‘connectivity’ certainly defines the expectations of today’s consumers, who prefer to use Wi-Fi, as opposed to their 3G or 4G network, to consume and share data.
However, we cannot address the opportunities afforded by Wi-Fi without mentioning Wi-Fi roaming, which allows smart devices to seamlessly hop between hotspots without any interaction or input from the user. Considered a revolution in mobile data, Wi-Fi roaming enables users to seamlessly connect to Wi-Fi hotspots without having to constantly log in. And the plan for achieving that is to automate Wi-Fi connectivity by using SIM card credentials for authentication. This represents the biggest move towards universal connectivity data ever since the introduction of WAP, GPRS and subsequent mobile data standards.
Roam Anywhere Stay Connected with Wi-Fi Roaming
Wi-Fi roaming is paving ahead a way for carrier Wi-Fi. To make global Wi-Fi roaming possible, core infrastructure should operate like Next Generation Hotspot (NGH) infrastructure and vice a versa. Carriers can transform their end user experience by avoiding bill shock and make mobile connectivity infinitely easier like never before in Roaming scenarios. The technology is already here; but in order for Wi-Fi roaming to meet its true potential, a series of things need to fall into place.
Carrier Wi-Fi helps subscribers connect to various hotspots with the device of their choice wherever they go. Wi-Fi roaming can become interoperable and function efficiently only when there is standardization across all constituents involved – mobile device, access point and service provider. This can be simplified by adapting to the Passpoint Compliant Hotspot 2.0 regulations which standardizes hotspots and devices to work together automatically. Passpoint enabled Wi-Fi service holds the potential to stimulate customer loyalty and drive measurable business value for both service providers and retailers.
Furthermore to set new standards and transform the overall Wi-Fi roaming experience, Operators should overcome the challenges of lack of standard roaming agreements and device standards, inconsistent user experience and irregular cost of roaming, seamless authentication, 3G/4G/LTE- Wi-Fi Interworking and monetization models and techniques.
For Overcoming these barriers requires a Wi-Fi Service Management platform capable of handling authentication for roaming and partnership scenarios, interoperable with global roaming providers, support multiple roaming standards. Supporting this will enable operators to increase their footprint and differentiate their services by offering Wi-Fi connections to major public locations (i.e., airports, libraries and cafes) as part of their value offerings across places globally. Moreover support for Wi-Fi roaming standards WiSPr, Hotspot 2.0 compliance will make Wi-Fi connection process simpler through seamless handover across hotspots from 3G/4G, allowing them to roam globally with inbound and outbound roaming support.
Win a Competitive Edge:
a. Simplified Manageability & Interconnectivity: It reduces the complexity of managing mobile data roaming and services across multiple business relationships (operators, WISPs, etc.) and roaming partners to provide a secured relationship management
b. Seamless Connectivity: Inter-operator roaming agreements will set up partnerships between internet service providers, mobile carriers and hotspot providers which will ensure that the service they provide meets customer expectations. This will also allow smart devices to seamlessly connect to Wi-Fi networks using SIM credentials for authentication and enables operators uniquely and securely identify whether users are on a mobile or Wi-Fi in roaming
C. Optimum Revenue Realization: Carriers can take the best of opportunity and maximize revenue potential through roaming partnerships and settlement with global service providers, infrastructure sharing with other operators, reconciliation with other Wi-Fi providers
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