Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) took the wraps off My WiFi, an online customer portal that positions the company's network of Wi-Fi hotspots as a potential competitor to cellular.
My WiFi is designed to let TWC customers register all their family's Wi-Fi-enabled devices so they will automatically link to any of the company's nearly 35,000 public Wi-Fi hotspots whenever they are in range. But the portal also enables TWC's customers to see their Wi-Fi usage and estimate their savings from offloading their cellular data use on the cable operator's free Wi-Fi network, thus positioning the network as a stronger competitor to cellular.
"One of the biggest challenges we have today is that our Wi-Fi customers are outside the home and trying to get on the network when they see TWC WiFi [indicating a company hotspot], but they don't know their credentials. They don't know either their Roadrunner email credentials or their TWC ID," Rob Cerbone, vice president of mobile products for Time Warner Cable, told FierceWirelessTech.
"So we think that by offering this mechanism where customers can now go and register their devices, presumably from home, they'll automatically get on the network outside the home," he continued.
Cerbone said the portal has been in development for about a quarter.
To register their devices on the portal, customers will need to provide their Time Warner Cable username and password as well as the MAC addresses for the individual devices.
My WiFi is accessible at twc.com/mywifi. The portal's device manager will keep devices authenticated to Time Warner's WiFi network for one year, after which they can be renewed for continued access. The usage tracker function will enable customers to view their data consumption on the MSO's Wi-Fi network by device, detailing monthly, daily or even a custom date range.
In addition, the portal's value estimator shows a customer how much their Wi-Fi usage would have cost them if they had consumed that data over cellular. Users can select from four cellular rates, with the default setting being the most popular Tier 1 rate of $10 per gigabyte, Time Warner said.
TWC WiFi is available free to Time Warner customers with a standard Internet service package or above and to all business class Internet customers.
Customers can visit twc.com/wificoverage to view a coverage map of the Wi-Fi network or download the free WiFi Finder app available from Google Play or the Apple App Store.
- see this Time Warner release
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