Investments on the Rise for Carrier-Grade WiFi
As mobile wireless bandwidth becomes saturated it’s a natural that carriers will want to offload as much traffic as they can to WiFi for dual mode “braided spectrum,” mobile networks, and further that WiFi will hand off to Gigabit fiber networks as quick as it can after that. There are certainly many technology challenges to doing this seamlessly, but it’s a must.
WiFi hotspots globally will get a major boost over the next few years.
According to new research sponsored by Amdocs Ltd. (NYSE: DOX), fixed and mobile operators alike are pouring resources into WiFi hotspots with the goal of improving connectivity from best-effort status to carrier-grade. Real Wireless and Rethink Technology Research conducted the study for Amdocs and found that carrier-grade connections are on track to jump from 14% of total WiFi hotspots in 2014 to 72% in 2018. The findings are based on research with 40 service providers across Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America and North America.
Wireline operators are taking advantage of hotspots to extend their network coverage, while wireless providers are using them to offload mobile traffic. Unfortunately, the monetization options for these hotspots have been limited thanks to the minimal ability of operators to control quality of service. In an effort to change the revenue outlook, 85% of operators in the Amdocs study said they plan to invest by 2016 in making WiFi perform more like cellular broadband.