Cloud4Wi enters the U.S. managed Wi-Fi hotspot arena

Competition in the U.S. managed public Wi-Fi hotspot industry just keeps growing. The latest player is Italian startup Cloud4Wi, which has expanded its managed Wi-Fi business to North America, announcing a new partner program for the region that the company says will enable managed service providers (MSPs) to create custom-branded Wi-Fi offerings and value-added services for their customers.

Cloud4Wi actually made its first foray into the United States during December 2013, when it announced a partnership with iPass Unity Managed Network Services. The strategic partnership enables iPass Unity to provide custom-branded managed hotspot services with applications for guest access.

Cloud4Wi joins competitors such as Boingo Wireless, Gowex and Ruckus Wireless, all of which have launched managed Wi-Fi platforms in the United States. Cloud4Wi's expansion is being enabled by an investment from United Ventures, which backed the company's $4 million Series A funding round.

Andrea Calcagno, CEO of Cloud4Wi, said MSPs can use Cloud4Wi's wares to "target any industry and support any client's Wi-Fi strategy with social media, analytics, marketing, advertising, localization and branded offerings to create new and expanding revenue streams."

Of course, advertising relies upon data analytics about end users, and some of Cloud4Wi's applications provide tools for analyzing customer demographics and behaviors, and, in turn, customizing the user experience.

Other Cloud4Wi apps include Geo Chat (chatting with others), Net Coupons (instant discounts), Nearby (detail about other businesses nearby), Instant Win (contests) and Pin-Up (visitor comments), as well as weather and news apps.

For more:
- see this Cloud4Wi release

Related articles:
Ruckus unveils cloud-based Wi-Fi management
Gowex's We2 Wi-Fi ad platform attracts 500 New York merchants
Gowex's shared Wi-Fi hotspot model employs social networking, advertising
Boingo's Cloud Nine deal shows how public Wi-Fi is changing

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