Powering Monetization for Wi-Fi networks

Better intelligence driven data analytics techniques are providing a solid platform for operators to increase their chances of monetizing their networks

With more and more operators moving towards an era of heterogeneous networks, where different technologies such as 3G, 4G LTE and Wi-Fi coexist, it is increasingly getting down to their ability to monetize subscriber transactions that is deciding the winners in the next generation race for telecoms profitability.

In such a scenario, gathering the right amount of subscriber related business intelligence is seen as a great way to boost potential of monetization, especially from Wi-Fi networks. Driven by a crunch to deliver data intensive services, large set of operators are moving towards embracing heterogeneous network environments and hence there is an increasing demand for closely weaving Wi-Fi inside the network fabric.

But on the other hand, managing such great amount of network complexity with the control systems along with the wealth of data flowing is a great challenge for the operator community and hence, operators are continuously looking forward to incorporate effective ways to achieve qualitative subscriber based insights from quantitative data originating inside their network environment.

And even when operators are successful in obtaining rich subscriber data, they find it extremely difficult to monetize such data intensive opportunities. This is where an intelligence driven network monetization can help operators mobilize better revenue opportunities from their existing network ecosystem.

Network driven business intelligence is seen as a set of decision making tools and applications that can be used to collect, store and analyse subscriber data which can be further converted into actionable information for operators’ monetization goals. Some of such applications and strategies are built around data usage and device usage analytics coming from subscriber data and hence such analytics drives operators to provide better plans based on network usage, devices, preferences, location, data usage, promotional offers and thus deliver quality of experience (QoE), and gain more from their existing infrastructure investments.

The Power of Wi-Fi Business Intelligence in Monetization

There is essentially a requirement of  Smart solution for Service Provider Wi-Fi with business Intelligence that builds the analytics to analyze and monitor Wi-Fi data in order to provide exceptional quality of service with enhanced operational efficiency and innovative plans/bundled packages. Using such intelligence will help operators to create dynamic policies based on user requirement and thus offer differentiated services enabling to launch new innovative business models that enables operators to monetize from Wi-Fi network.

Analytics Can Monetize Big Data for Telecoms

Intelligent Analytics tools and applications can address Big Data challenge for operators and push their profitability ahead

Big Data is gaining momentum as far as IT world is concerned and it is fast making its way into the telecom world as well, while the definition of Big Data is different for IT and telecom domains, analytics related applications hold tremendous potential to harness profitability out of this surge in data.

As more and more operators prepare themselves for launching the next generation of telecom services, data will become critical and hence operators would be required to create better monetizing opportunities around data usage and analyse their subscriber actions around data.

And hence, real-time subscriber analytics is one segment that can deliver what operators look for while rolling out next generation services around 4G LTE. So, at a time when operators have to live with big amount of data, intelligent analytics of this big data can drive user generated profitability for the operators and provide them with a healthy bottom-line as well.

Intelligence in Data

In order to derive such intelligence from the data residing in an operator’s network, they need to understand the user’s pattern to utilise data and in turn that can deliver unique insights towards better utilising network resources in routing and traffic analysis.

In order to achieve all this, next gen operators need truly next generation ready analytics tools and applications that can help them analyse on user data and provide support on various network interfaces. It is always helpful for operators to go for an end to end solution that can take care of their data analytics challenges while at the same time, deliver an easy to operate and manage reporting system that can help them towards analyzing the past performance of user plans, traffic and subscriber usage as well as fraud detection and critical information on instances of revenue leakage within the network.

Moved by a need to derive a clear understanding of their subscriber behaviour, operators are looking at designing and implementing their go to market strategy utilising information on real-time analytics of subscriber usage patterns, buying behaviours, balance information, etc. All this information is also helping operators to generate predictive analysis on designing their customer offers and better managing new age data services around 4G LTE.

How Big Data can Create Big Value for Operators

  • By enabling transparency in information sharing
  • By delivering accurate and detailed information on the subscriber usage patterns, and hence helping operators to boost their performance levels
  • By enabling delivery of personalized service packs for subscribers and hence, generating more revenue for operators

Elitecore LTE Revenue and Customer Management Platform helps operators capitalize on real time intelligence and customer insight with embedded analytics enabling new monetization and personalization opportunities for the operators.

Role of PCRF for Next Generation network

Policy and charging rules function (PCRF)—policy equipment for bandwidth and charging on multimedia networks—supports service data flow protection, policy enforcement and flow-based charging. The technology works by accessing and aggregating a number of information sources, such as subscriber databases and operational support systems (OSS), to determine accurate pricing models for mobile network operators (MNOs) looking to monetize multimedia services from data to video to voice.

Gartner estimates the number of Internet-connected devices to grow to 26 billion units by 2020, resulting in a $1.9 trillion global economic value-add through sales into various end-markets. As networks and services continue to evolve—and network operators will be forced to gain better control over increasing data traffic—complete policy control will become paramount for MNOs looking to carve out their piece of this financial pie.

That’s where PCRF comes into the picture. There are plenty of benefits of PCRF for mobile network operators. Let’s take a look at the chief benefits afforded by the technology:

  • Reduced data delivery costs: With increased transparency into data policy and charging, operators will be able to more accurately charge services, thus reducing data delivery costs.
  • Simplified network operations: PCRF enables operators to simplify their network by making functions and services more easily integrated and flexible.
  • Increased revenue: With better control thanks to a centralized PCRF system, operators can more quickly deploy and deliver personalized services and/or service packages based on operator policies.

Elitecore offers unified policy control platform compliant to 3GPP specifications, which includes pre-integrated PCEF/DPI and PCRF functions to enable new monetization and personalization opportunities for operators and optimize customers’ service experience. The platform integrates with existing OSS and BSS system over standard interfaces.

Furthermore, built-in deep packet inspection technology offers real-time network intelligence and is highly scalable to handle and process huge traffic in the data path. Boasting tight integration with NetVertex PCRF over a standard Gx interface, Elitecore’s solution enables dynamic and rapid decision making to ensure the fastest revenue generation possible.

The Integrated Solution offers the following benefits to operators:

  • Traffic shaping on specific application and protocols like non-time sensitive apps (P2P,FTP), QoS tagging and real-time decision making per subscriber
  • Congestion control and mitigation per subscriber or type of subscriber
  • Network traffic classification, which helps save time during peak operating times
  • Smart routing for video optimization
  • Cache server for premium subscribers based on application, user profile or user consumption
  • Application/service centric data plans with differential charging and quality of service (QoS)
  • Block the application/allow the application feature

Elitecore’s industry-leading PCRF solution enables unique use cases like parental control, website/URL blocking, turbo booster and volume on-demand, and is also location and device-specific.  To learn more about how you can benefit from a bleeding-edge PCRF solution, contact an Elitecore representative today.

Innovating Connectivity with LTE – Wi-Fi Interworking

At a time when end customers look for high-speed data to power their new age device form factors, operators look for cost effective methodologies to enable this growing thirst for data and also put efforts to ease out pressure from their networks.

This data intensive challenge can successfully be met by innovating on delivering connectivity to the users by intertwining next generation cellular technologies such as LTE with Wi-Fi and deliver carrier-grade Wi-Fi coverage regions that can offload the operator traffic in a cost efficient manner.

Internet Protocol or IP is the underlying fabric upon which networks are built and IP defines the structure of information packets and most importantly, it also defines how they are transported between two end-to-end IP-devices across an interconnection of networks.

Driven by global standards, IP protocols are designed to be agnostic to the underlying characteristics of any of the intervening networks and have provided the highway architecture for the modern internet today.

And owing to these technology agnostic characteristics of IP, it has become a natural choice of selection for interworking Cellular and Wi-Fi Networks, since It is a common language that be supported by both the networks and seamlessly integrates the both to deliver best in class carrier grade Wi-Fi capability that can deliver exactly what users need and where they need it.

The world over, including in India, operators are fast realising the full potential of Wi-Fi and as a result, today, Cellular Wi-Fi Integration is seen as a technique that can smartly manage difficult data traffic scenarios in a mobile operator network. And hence, in such a situation, a successful amalgamation of Wi-Fi and Cellular technologies such as LTE can dynamically route data to use the optimal radio interface that is just ideal for particular data application at the user end.

The best part of this technological integration is the fact that at the end user level, nothing changes, while at the operator level cellular network handshake of Wi-Fi ensures a considerable reduction of stress on operator’s backhaul as well as optimal usage of network resources such as spectrum.

As there is an upsurge in the usage of mobile devices such as iPhone, tablets and phablets, delivering the right user experience is becoming increasingly important for operators as consumers expect to receive the same quality of service whether they use Wi-Fi, 3G or LTE.

But at the operator level, as a intertwining technology, Wi-Fi must provide operators with the right tools to manage Wi-Fi networks in a similar fashion that operators are used to operate and maintain their existing 3G or LTE networks, and hence delivery of carrier grade Wi-Fi solutions becomes important.

In a 4G scenario where operators are looking at incorporating best possible LTE strategies, Wi-Fi is an intertwining technology that can very well integrate the trusted and untrusted Wi-Fi networks with operator’s packet core and this way operators can provide a seamless integration of their mobile and Wi-Fi access.

LTE – Wi-Fi Interworking

LTE – Wi-Fi interworking is a methodology which can enable an operator to offload their LTE driven subscriber data requirement on to a Wi-Fi Access network and still be able to control LTE packet core infrastructure for subscriber Authentication, Policy and Charging functions.

While operators device strategy to interlink LTE and Wi-Fi, authentication of the end user is surely a very critical aspect for any network and that is why operators need a converged AAA that supports DIAMETER based EAP authentication along with RADIUS based authentication for RADIUS supportive networks like Wi-Fi. And this is where Elitecore can provide a much needed boost for operators Wi-Fi strategy.

Seamless Integration of LTE and Wi-Fi 

Elitecore has an advanced AAA known as Evolved 3GPP AAA compliant to industry standards of 3GPP which plays an important role in LTE interworking with Wi-Fi.

Converting challenges into opportunities for operators, this compliant by Elitecore can support diameter based EAP Authentication required for integration with LTE type of network or where Access network is on DIAMETER as well as authentication for RADIUS supportive networks like Wi-Fi. And hence this can enable a platform on which LTE and Wi-Fi interworking can be established in a seamless manner.

Elitecore’s Evolved 3GPP AAA also holds functionalities that can provide the Wx interface support for HSS authentication over LTE network. It is capable to provide support for 3GPP standard compliant SWa interface for EAP authentication with HSS as well as capable to support SWm – for additional Authentication parameters based on subscriber profile, authorization information update, ePDG initiated session termination and S2b interface support towards PGW over GTP or PMIPv6 tunnelling. It will also provide support for S6b interface between 3GPP evolved AAA and P-GW for tunnelling authentication.

Business Benefits of LTE-Wi-Fi Interworking

  • LTE- Wi-Fi Interworking allows the operator to provide the same set services which are already available in existing LTE network – Product plans
  • Operator can use Wi-Fi as alternate technology to LTE where LTE radio coverage weak or cost of coverage is higher compare to Wi-Fi
  • LTE- Wi-Fi Interworking allows operator to grow their network into rural / distant area and save on transport and OPEX cost
  • Allows Operator launch bundled services – with Wi-Fi
  • With packet core network integration an operator can enable improved visibility and control over Wi-Fi traffic and gain enhanced customer experience.
  • Furthermore, users are able to reach their LTE services via both mobile and Wi-Fi accesses. This makes Wi-Fi a truly integral part of mobile broadband access.
  • It enables even closer control over traffic with seamless network-controlled handovers between radio and Wi-Fi even during roaming.
  • Session continuity assures that applications are not affected when the user device moves between different Wi-Fi networks as the same IP address is preserved

 

Pre-integrated BSS Solution Gets Greenfield Service Providers to Market Faster with LTE

Greenfield deployments—network installations where none previously existed—offer service providers ample competitive advantages and revenue opportunities. But speed is key in this process, and getting to market fast is exceedingly important given today’s ever-competitive marketplace. Therefore, Greenfield service providers looking to launch their new Long Term Evolution (LTE) data services should rely on complete, pre-integrated stacks of BSS and packet core offerings.

Such a solution comes complete with packet core offerings which accelerates time to market and helps lower costs on the provider’s end. Furthermore, using real-time integrated analytics, service providers can personalize their service plans (i.e. family plans or Facebook free plans) around specific consumer activities and behaviours, opening the door for additional revenue paths.

Benefits of a pre-integrated BSS solution for Greenfield providers looking to go to market with LTE services include:

  • Greater data plan innovation
  • Stronger balance of network resources and customer experience
  • Superior customer engagement and loyalty through contextual offerings

With a 360-degree view of subscribers, usage and services, service providers are able to more intelligently monetize data services by bringing off-the-shelf LTE business processes and use cases to the market—and faster than ever before. Furthermore, cloud and virtualized deployment readiness enables service providers to reduce both CAPEX and OPEX with a single license and service contract.

The benefits of a comprehensive, pre-integrated BSS solution for Greenfield LTE monetization are clear. Elitecore’s carrier-grade, industry standard LTE revenue and customer management BSS platform can help you bring these benefits to fruition. Click here to learn more.

Decoding Public Wi-Fi

As today’s operators find it hard to cope with the data deluge, they need to decode Wi-Fi and make this wonderful technology work for them in a better manner 

Not long ago, there was a time when the Wi-Fi symbol used to be found only at select coffee shops in big cities to indicate that customers could hook-up their mobile devices to the Internet, using Wi-Fi, but today the scenario has changed completely and the same Wi-Fi symbol can now be seen in countless public places of interest, including Airports, shopping malls, large public squares, stadiums etc.

Many consumers now own more than one mobility driven device that has Wi-Fi capabilities and as a result, the industry is experiencing a huge increase in public Wi-Fi hotspots as mobile users look for places to connect their multiple devices when they are mobile and away from their office desks or home comfort.

In this data hungry and always-on scenario, providing the much needed Wi-Fi access to customers has almost become like basic electricity or water, and at times ensures customer loyalty.

Hence, in their bid to carve better value propositions for their customers, a number of service providers are now in the process of architecting extensive networks of public Wi-Fi hotspots, to be used by their mobile or home broadband customers.

Operators are fast coming to terms with the fact that when customers look for true mobility, enhancing Wi-Fi coverage can ensure better relationship with their end customers and clearly differentiate themselves from the rest of the competition.

But in order to derive business value from the deployment of Wi-Fi hotspots, the enterprise community and service providers need to better understand their customer behaviour patterns towards utilising Wi-Fi coverage in public hotspots and also clearly understand, what can be done to improve their experience in a better manner.

Public Wants Mobility and Wi-Fi Delivers It

As expressed by many experts in the industry, consumers using public hotspots are generally quite satisfied with the service, however, there are concerns about further strengthening of security for public Wi-Fi, speed as well as coverage.

Today’s new age consumers are armed with next generation devices which need always on connectivity and hence these consumers look for more hotspots in the traditional public Wi-Fi locations, like coffee shops, bars, hotels, and airports or railway stations.

In addition to this, an increasing number of consumers also expect hotspots to be available almost seamlessly wherever they go beyond their work, college or home environment. Hence, taking this into account, now there is an acute need to enable Wi-Fi access at hospitals, nursing homes, stores, key points on national highways, and even parks where people go for morning or evening walks.

How Public Wi-Fi can Reduce Churn for Operators

In view of the above mentioned advantages of Wi-Fi, a number of service providers around the world are now bundling access to a public Wi-Fi network with their mobile or home broadband offerings to considerably improve customer satisfaction and retention on the long run. This holds big potential to reduce churn for operators and create unique value proposition by delivering ease of use and reliability for their end user services.

Need for Wi-Fi Service Management Platform 

In order to create innovative opportunities from an upsurge in Wi-Fi usage, operators need to incorporate efficient Wi-Fi Service Management Platform and this is where Elitecore’s Wi-Fi SMP is  creating a big difference in terms of offering a flexible and modular solution that supports multiple business models and enable operators to launch any monetisation opportunity in public Wi-Fi domain.

Elitecore Wi-Fi SMP is ideally positioned to enable service providers in terms of meeting an emerging demand of mobile data offload through Wi-Fi and alleviate existing challenges in network congestion.

It is a true next generation-ready platform comprising of authentication (EAP SIM/AKA & non-EAPSIM), billing, captive portal, location-aware services, subscriber analytics, mobile app and integration with Mobile core.

This solution is designed keeping in mind today’s challenges being faced by operators and hence it is highly interoperable and supports innovative business models along with multiple off-the-shelf, use cases. Elitecore Wi-Fi SMP has been built around a flexible framework to support carrier-grade ecosystem and enables operators to tap new revenue opportunities with rapid and cost effective deployments.

 

Intelligent Data Monetization Services a Must for Meeting ‘Concept-to-Cash’ Requirements

The demand for innovation and higher revenue generation has yet to slow down. Today’s mobile network operators (MNOs) have found themselves amidst an ongoing digital revolution full of new and improved services like 4G, or Long Term Evolution (LTE), service. Therefore, operators with plans for LTE monetization must start executing their plans sooner rather than later to ensure that they deliver best-in-class mobile services worldwide to help maximize revenue opportunities.

But in order for operators to see any financial gain or ROI from their 4G/LTE investment, they must have a scalable, cutting edge “concept-to-cash” solution that can:

  • Analyze subscribers’ usage, transactions and preferences
  • Create advanced services or plans that are tailored to subscribers’ needs
  • Launch tailored marketing campaigns
  • Seamlessly fulfill services ordered by subscribers
  • Rate charges and/or bills for services
  • Accept payment from any source
  • Handle all financial aspects of each and every transaction

This “concept to cash” implementation will become a fundamental pillar of service and network strategy; therefore, operators must start planning for it now. To help meet the above unique requirements, operators must leverage intelligent data monetization services. Such services are offered by vendors who are able to tap into this unique market, boasting the knowledge and expertise to make informed decisions based on subscribers’ context and usage information. Such a service provider empowers MNOs to conceptualize or, if needed, revaluate their overall Operations Support System (OSS) or Business Support System (BSS) strategy.

As part of its integrated “concept to cash” solution, Elitecore offers a carrier-grade, industry standard (TMF, 3GPP Rel. 11) LTE revenue and customer management BSS platform. The platform features online charging, convergent billing, customer management and provisioning as well as engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) offerings, including PCRF, DSC and3GPP-AAA. All of these capabilities address the critical aspects of “concept to cash” requirements. Click here to learn more about Elitecore’s next-generation BSS platform.

Driving ‘Monetization Mojo’ from Wi-Fi

With an array of mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets etc supporting Wi-Fi connectivity, it has truly become a need for operators to invest in harnessing this technology with their cellular networks.

Driving this need are almost all major connectivity markets such as travel, hospitality, retail, sports events, entertainment, healthcare, education and more, and hence Wi-Fi is now getting right at the helm of operator’s strategy to better target its end customer base and establish better relationships with their customer base.

Almost all mobile devices have Wi-Fi as their primary wireless access technology today. New technologies and standards, such as the Hotspot 2.0 hold great promise to improve and simplify the end user Wi-Fi experience.

Even though, operators are investing in Wi-Fi to strengthen their bond with their customers, there are doubts on the monetization part and this is where new age Wi-Fi driven advertising models can carve a new revenue stream for operators.

There is no doubt that the Wi-Fi opportunity is massive as analysts have predicted that the Wi-Fi market will touch $93 billion mark by 2018, according to research firm Markets and Markets.

Over the past many years, Wi-Fi has evolved and now emerged as a truly carrier grade technology, which is clearly able to manage data, reach out to the subscriber base in an area and most importantly minimize the users need to access data over cell phone service plans, thereby reducing strain on operator’s network.

However, there is a challenge as according to various estimates, over 51% of hotspots offer free Wi-Fi and hence customers are less willing to pay for the Wi-Fi service. But this does not mean that Wi-Fi cannot be monetized.

Wi-Fi in Advertising

Actually, Wi-Fi is very special in many ways, as a communication driven technology, Wi-Fi can target hyper-local ads in unique manner and create revenue generation opportunities for operators.

As part of this activity, the service provider can share personalized and relevant offers, offer mobile payment facilities, generate marketing lists, track consumer behaviour and build their brand as well. It also helps in developing targeted and hence relevant advertising model where users get only those Ads where they have shown close interest levels.

When it comes down to monetizing Wi-Fi, advertising based on Wi-Fi subscriber access can be a big game changer for mobile advertising. As a truly next generation technology, Wi-Fi can provide much more accurate information on user location (typically within 3 to 5m [9.8 to 16.4 ft] or less) this is quite better than the information provided by cellular networks. This calls for much better targeted Wi-Fi driven advertising. And the use of Wi-Fi is opt-in, which means that customers are ready for accepting advertising rather than the alternative mobile spam model.

And as today’s Wi-Fi has its roots in almost all the devices, starting from smartphones, to tablets and phablets, this also means that people access Wi-Fi through larger-screen devices, which can be more-advertising-friendly and hence people are likely to get better advertising experience using Wi-Fi.

Owing to these attributes, Wi-Fi based mobile advertising has already started delivering greater CPM in malls at Canada, Singapore and Dubai.

Wi-Fi and Analytics

In addition to the AD campaigns, Wi-Fi analytics can actually inject a lot of intelligence into how businesses look at their customers and help them better understand their own mobile customers, including what types of customers are using their hotspots, for how long, at what time of day and even where in the venue they are accessing it from. All this information can guide them to build better networks.

And on the other hand, with this type of intelligent data, potential advertisers can pinpoint the right users for their brand messages and go another step ahead and offer them exactly what they are ready for, or rather what they are waiting for. This way, a technology like Wi-Fi can be of huge value for operators, businesses as well as end customers.

 

Four Things to Look for When Selecting a LTE Billing Vendor

Over the past few years, there has been an explosive growth in data traffic across wireless networks as customers use smartphones and tablets to not only access emails and check social media, but also to stream videos and do their online shopping. According to research from Cisco Systems, in 2013, mobile networks carried nearly 18 exabytes of traffic.

To meet these growing demands, wireless providers have begun turning to Long Term Evolution (LTE) to help them best monetize data services for these bandwidth-hungry subscribers. Their goal: create personalized, flexible LTE plans and promotion that offer a seamless subscriber experience and faster integration. At the same time, however, operators and ISPs are under pressure to not only reduce margins while sharing revenue with third-party service providers, but also to make a shift from delivering basic communication services to high-value, personalized ones.

To meet these goals, operators and ISPs need advanced O/BSS capabilities that allow them to roll out services quickly in a highly competitive marketplace. What should they be looking for from their billing vendor as they look to monetize LTE services? Operators need to consider platforms that allow them to:

  1. Upgrade their existing platform to create differentiated offerings. This can be accomplished through a highly refined product catalog that applies a rules-based approach to offering plans and packages.
  2. Achieve greater transparency in billing and charging. This allows them to work more easily with both third-party providers and customers.
  3. Support geographical roll-outs with quick time-to-market. Operators need to be able to personalize plans based on a variety of factors, including geography, to best match the needs of their customers and to roll out competitive offerings as quickly as possible.
  4. Provide third-party over-the-top (OTT)/content services for the customers. While OTT players can be a threat to operators, they can also present a huge opportunity to offer new and differentiated services to their customer base. A O/BSS solution needs the flexibility to support such partnerships.

Operators need the support of advanced O/BSS solutions to transform their business models for next-generation services. However, many billing vendors don’t have the complete pre-integrated stack of billing, charging and policy control in their systems or use third-party solutions, which creates a higher integration cost and deployment time.

Elitecore’s LTE Revenue and Customer Management platform offers pre-integrated converged billing and customer care and evolved packet core components in a single box. Learn more about how you can better support fast-growing LTE services with Elitecore’s LTE Revenue and Customer Management platform.

Three Things About Intelligent Offloading That MNOs Need to Know

Mobile network operators (MNOs), or wireless service providers, that are worth their salt will arm themselves with an intelligent data offloading strategy to stay relevant and competitive in today’s marketplace. The need for this is simple: The continued proliferation of Internet-connected devices, like smartphones and tablets, encourages greater data consumption. And as more data is generated, consumed and shared, mobile networks will become constrained, negatively impacting the quality of service that is delivered. By offloading some of this data using complementary network technologies, like Wi-Fi and femtocells, service providers can ensure an optimum user experience while helping lower their own costs.

The mobile data and intelligent offloading market is experiencing an increase in activity as a result of this exponential growth. To be able to react quickly to market shifts, MNOs need to keep abreast of events, starting with the three we highlight here:

A.  Operators entertaining 4G-based femtocells, but Wi-Fi reigns supreme

Worldwide femtocell and enterprise small cell equipment revenue reached $144 million in 1Q14—a 6 percent increase from that time last year, according to a June 2014 Infonetics Research report. While operators are encouraged to use Wi-Fi to offload mobile data for increased success, and the majority of MNOs currently do, the femtocell market is slowly showing growth.

Nonetheless, Wi-Fi is encouraged by top industry pundits for MNOs not only for data offload, but for overall network efficiency. “Mobile operators are firmly behind carrier Wi-Fi as a key solution for mobile offload,” said Richard Webb, directing analyst for microwave, mobile offload and mobile broadband devices at Infonetics Research.

Webb further stated that while data offload is the current priority, in coming years operators will want to see a closer integration of Wi-Fi with the mobile network so that offload becomes more intelligent, automated and seamless. “They want to utilize Wi-Fi not only to augment mobile services, but to enhance the network itself by becoming an integrated part of the mobile network,” he explained.

B.   Operators need new Wi-Fi access points to stay competitive

Still, according to Webb, “Best-effort Wi-Fi is no longer good enough; mobile operators need carrier-class sophistication.” The fastest-growing monetization models for Wi-Fi services include tiered/premium hotspots, managed hotspots and Wi-Fi roaming. “Offload of data traffic is not enough, “Wi-Fi’s got to pay for itself.” Driven by this need, operators will spend $8.5 billion on carrier Wi-Fi equipment leading up to 2017.

C.   The right Solution is mandatory to properly monetize your services

Driven by the surge of data traffic and varying industries looking to capitalize on Wi-Fi (for example, Analyst reports that hotels, sports and entertainment venues, airports, train stations and retail malls will see significant growth as carrier Wi-Fi deployment locations by 2014), operators must embrace bleeding-edge, industry-leading Wi-Fi service management solutions to ensure they can cater to this accelerated growth, as well as handle mobile data offload to alleviate network congestion.

A pre-integrated and modular platform supports innovative business models by catering to multiple deployment scenarios. Furthermore, the Wi-Fi monetization framework creates immense revenue opportunities for providers aiming to lead the charge.

From SIM-based user authentication to Captive Portal to WISPr 2.0 compliancy, Elitecore’s Wi-Fi Service Management Platform (SMP) boasts the key features mobile operators need to enable quick, simple and effortless data offload, as well as for setting up Wi-Fi hotspots. Click here to learn more about Elitecore’s industry-leading Wi-Fi offering.