Improving Wi-Fi connection quality offers many advantages to Communications Service Providers
Communications Service Providers (CSPs) are fully aware of the potential that Wi-Fi networks have for offering integrated services to their clients. Offering Wi-Fi connectivity can complement a CSP’s cellular coverage and even allow for indoor Wi-Fi calling.
Both of these services have a positive impact on user experience (for example, according to Ericsson, only 36% of users are satisfied with their indoor cellular coverage). Thus, Wi-Fi connectivity can be a tool for increasing customer loyalty and reducing churn.
Furthermore, CSPs can generate additional revenues by offering Wi-Fi connectivity to any users who need it (even non-subscribers) in public spaces such as transportation hubs, sports arenas, public squares, and even through wholesale. Additionally, offloading data from cellular infrastructure to Wi-Fi can significantly reduce costs for CSPs, says Alex Puregger, CEO of Fon.
As a consequence, Wi-Fi based services are now widely offered. In many cases, however, operators are neither getting the most out of their deployments nor providing an optimal user connectivity experience. In order to leverage the full potential of Wi-Fi, CSPs must first guarantee that they’re offering clients a connectivity experience that is similar in quality to that of a cellular network. Otherwise, a deficient experience will have a negative impact on service performance and possibly even the reputation of the company.
In order to guarantee this type of high-quality connectivity experience, CSPs need advanced technology capable of identifying the best available Wi-Fi network. That way, if the quality of a Wi-Fi network is not high enough, the user device will not connect to it and will remain connected to either a better Wi-Fi network or even a cellular network.
CSPs must strive to assure that users are always connected to the best network without having to intervene. In other words, in order to avoid poor connections, users should not have to make any changes to the network configuration on their devices manually.
Low-quality Wi-Fi connectivity poses many risks for operators. For example, any operator that has decided to deploy a Wi-Fi network for offloading purposes will have developed a business plan that has factored in a quantified cost-reduction estimate. But if users are dissatisfied with the Wi-Fi connectivity on this network, they will simply disconnect from it and reconnect to their 3G or 4G network. As a consequence, this operator will not be able to meet its business objectives.
On the other hand, a good Wi-Fi connectivity experience can have a very positive impact on the company and will help operators not only get the most out of their Wi-Fi deployment, but also reduce churn and attract new clients.
To offer this type of experience, CSPs need solutions that connect users transparently without complicated authentication processes. These solutions must guarantee the best connectivity option without user intervention, and allow CSPs to understand network performance from an end-user perspective.
The author of this blog is Alex Puregger, CEO of Fon
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