Carrier WiFi Gaining Market Traction as Comcast Expands WiFi Coverage
Infonetics Research released excerpts from its 2014 Carrier WiFi Strategies and Vendor Leadership: Global Service Provider Survey, which explores the drivers, strategies, models, and technology choices that are shaping service provider WiFi deployments.
CARRIER WIFI SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS.
- Respondents have an average of around 32,000 access points currently, growing to just over 44,000 by 2015, representing 33% growth over the next year.
- 40% of Infonetics’ operator respondents expect to integrate Hotspot 2.0 into more than half their access points by the end of 2015.
- Among those surveyed, the top 3 monetization models for WiFi services are pre-pay, bundled with mobile broadband subscription, and tiered hotspots.
- WiFi as a separate overlay network currently leads the list of technologies and architectures for offloading data traffic; meanwhile, more sophisticated carrier WiFi architectures gain gradual traction as respondents look to bring WiFi into the mobile RAN via SIM-based service models or by deploying dual-mode WiFi/small cells.
- Respondents perceive Cisco and Ruckus Wireless as the top carrier WiFi manufacturers for second consecutive year
CARRIER WIFI ANALYST NOTE:
“Carrier WiFi deployments are evolving to deliver the same quality of experience as mobile and fixed-line broadband service environments, and this is driving WiFi networks to become more closely integrated. Hotspot 2.0, a key tool developed by the industry to aid this drive, shows rapid adoption by carriers participating in our latest carrier WiFi survey,” notes Richard Webb, directing analyst for mobile backhaul and small cells at Infonetics Research.
Webb adds: “Operators are betting pretty big on carrier WiFi, but they’re also keen to develop ways of monetizing services so that WiFi starts to pay for itself over the coming years. WiFi roaming and location-based services are examples of customer plans that are growing fast.”
CARRIER WIFI SURVEY SYNOPSIS:
For its 43-page WiFi strategies survey, Infonetics interviewed independent wireless, incumbent, competitive, and cable operators in Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, North America, and Latin America that that have deployed WiFi in the public domain (or will soon). The report provides insights into carrier WiFi deployment drivers and locations; access point standards, form factors, features, ranges, and backhaul connections; hotspots; mobile data offload; service delivery models and challenges; customer plans; and opinions of WiFi equipment manufacturers. Vendors named in the survey include Alcatel-Lucent, Aruba Networks, Cisco, Ericsson/BelAir, Guoren, HP, Huawei, Motorola, NSN, Ruckus Wireless, Zhidakang, Xirrus, ZTE, and others.
To buy the report, contact Infonetics: http://www.infonetics.com/contact.asp
INDOOR WIRELESS SOLUTIONS WEBINAR AND FREE REPORT:
Join analyst Richard Webb May 6 at 11:00 EDT for Indoor Wireless Solutions: Technologies, Challenges and Backhaul, which compares picocells, metrocells, WiFi, DAS, and repeaters. Registrants receives a special Small Cells Market Report. Attend live or access the replay:
Separately, Comcast aims to expand its WiFi footprint to a whopping 8 million hotspots by the end of the year, far more than any other wireless provider. The largest MSO in the U.S. will focus on three different types of locations — outdoor public areas, business facilities, and neighborhood hotspots in private homes. The vast majority of hotspots will be added in customer homes, where the cabler is now installing access points with a second, public SSID signal on the new WiFi-enabled data gateways that it’s deploying throughout the nation.