New research from the Wireless Broadband Alliance has revealed a growing appetite for carrier Wi-Fi, with more than half of surveyed providers now backing public Wi-Fi investments.
The report, compiled by research company Maravedis-Rethink, found that 56.7 percent of respondents were more confident about investing in public Wi-Fi than they were in 2013, an all-time high.
Seventy percent of those surveyed cited improving customer experience as the key motivator for carrier Wi-Fi deployments, with a further 41 percent claiming customer experience was the “key driver” for investing in next-generation hotspot (NGH) technology.
The research also found that 35 percent of respondents were turning to Wi-Fi roaming as one of their key monetisation strategies in the wake of NGH, with just over half of respondents claiming they had ongoing roaming deals to supplement their networks overseas.
Shrikant Shenwai, CEO of the WBA, commented: “Carrier Wi-Fi has experienced a revolution over the past year and is now being embraced by an ever growing number of carriers. The significant progress in live commercial NGH deployments, and in turn new monetisation strategies, provide evidence of major improvements in quality of service, ease of use and revenue generation that the technology brings.”
“This research underlines the growing momentum behind Wi-Fi that is increasing year-on-year, driven by the ecosystem coming together to develop the technology and promote its wide ranging benefits.”
Large public venues offer the biggest business opportunities for Wi-Fi providers, with stadiums and shopping centres proving the biggest traffic drivers for 50 percent of respondents. A further 48 percent said travel hubs such as airports were the biggest cause of traffic growth.
Last month, iPass CMO June Bower told Mobile Europe that the biggest benefactors of carrier Wi-Fi would be those who could figure out how to monetise it most effectively. Research from the company revealed half of global commercial hotspots were controlled by non-telco brands such as retailers.
Meanwhile, research from ABI last month revealed that the rapid deployment of NGH was leading the carrier Wi-Fi market towards a €6.4 billion windfall by 2019, with vendors such as Cisco, Ruckus and Nokia all benefitting from the increased demand for equipment.