Wi-Fi continues to play an expanding role in the service strategies of many mobile operators as well as cable TV companies, as evidenced by separate announcements from Wi-Fi offloading vendor Aptilo Networks as well as cable MSOs Cox Communications and Bright House Networks.
Stockholm-based Aptilo said its products have enabled a Tier 1 mobile carrier, which the vendor declined to name, to enjoy a 20-fold increase in the number of monthly Wi-Fi sessions on its nationwide Wi-Fi network during the first two years and more than 10 times the number of Wi-Fi users per month in three years. The operator uses Aptilo's mobile data offloading platform and SIM authentication to shift 3G smartphone data traffic to its own nationwide carrier Wi-Fi network.
This operator's total growth in Wi-Fi sessions since it deployed SIM authentication is expected to reach 3,600 percent, according to Aptilo. The operator is on track to record 20 million Wi-Fi sessions per month during January 2014 and is also recording nearly 2 million Wi-Fi users per month.
"We are seeing more and more carriers leveraging mobile data offloading with SIM authentication to generate revenue. Seamless Wi-Fi offloading combined with a carrier-class Wi-Fi service is becoming the gold standard for mobile operators worldwide," said Torbjorn Ward, Aptilo's CEO.
While offloading data from the cellular network is a primary driver for mobile operator interest in Wi-Fi, cable MSOs are turning to Wi-Fi to expand their service footprints and overall customer touch points, as well as provide their customers with an alternative to mobile data plans.
With that in mind, Cox and Bright House announced they have integrated their Wi-Fi hotspots, enabling customers to access free Wi-Fi in additional areas including Orlando, Tampa, Daytona, Northern Virginia, Connecticut and Indiana.
The companies said their collaboration expands access to the CableWiFi hotspot network, which includes hotspots operated by Cox and Bright House as well as Cablevision, Comcast and Time Warner Cable.
"Cox continues to extend our customers' access to Wi-Fi hotspots across the country, delivering information and entertainment anytime, anywhere," said Kelly Williams, vice president, product strategy and management at Cox Communications. "We not only provide our customers access to more than 200,000 WiFi hotspots throughout the country, we also make it convenient and simple for customers to locate and log on to these hotspots."
Once a user has logged into a CableWiFi hotspot, the customer's wireless device will automatically recognize and log on to other CableWiFi hotspots for one year.
- see this Aptilo release
- see this Cox and Bright House release
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