wefi - Wi-Fi - wireless startups - Fierce 15 2014

Fierce 15

Where it's based: Fairfax, Va.
When it was founded: 2006  
Website: www.wefi.com

Why it's Fierce: Wefi uses real-time analytics to determine when it's best for a device to be on Wi-Fi or cellular service, taking into account factors such as user's location and device, the apps they are using, the network quality and the throughput that can be achieved through nearby Wi-Fi networks. Wefi offers a carrier-grade Wi-Fi connectivity and offloading solution called WeANDSF that allows operators to control where, when and under what circumstances their subscribers use public and private Wi-Fi networks. WeANDSF stands for wefi Enhanced Access Network Discovery and Selection Function, a standard designed to merge Wi-Fi and cellular networks. The company's technology lets carriers seamlessly move customers to whatever networks are available to deliver the best results at that exact point in time.

The company counts Sprint (NYSE: S), AT&T Mobility's (NYSE: T) Cricket prepaid brand, Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA), Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) and SingTel as its customers.

Earlier this year wefi branched out its business and launched a new consumer service platform and mobile app called "fstrnet," which continuously monitors and collects information across carrier networks and Wi-Fi hot spots based on a user's behavior. Users can see the info on a map and find out about the speed of their connection, no matter what network they are using. The app then finds other carriers that serve the same location and compares the data to the other carriers' performance, giving users more info as they decide whether to switch networks based on their personal usage, behavior preferences and pricing options.

What's next: Wefi supports Hotspot 2.0 technology, and as it gets more widely deployed this year and next the technology is likely to benefit wefi's business. Hotspot 2.0 is an interoperable Wi-Fi authentication and handoff technology that enables automatic, seamless data roaming between Wi-Fi hotspots and cellular networks. Wefi Co-founder and CTO Shimon Scherzer said Hotspot 2.0 "will allow us to do a better job."

The company is also looking to get more U.S. cable company customers and potentially expand in Asia.

Wefi is venture backed by Pitango in Israel, and Lightspeed and Time Warner Cable in the U.S. 

wefi - Wi-Fi - wireless startups - Fierce 15 2014
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