With Wi-Fi offloading, should carriers build their own Wi-Fi network or share it?

Monica PaoliniMore and more operators are turning to Wi-Fi offloading as an extension of their cellular networks to carry low-margin but highly popular data traffic like YouTube videos. Mobile operators that decide to offload to a Wi-Fi hotspot network specifically built for this purpose have so far preferred to build and control their own networks. But, as Monica Paolini explores, is this the most effective--in terms of cost, performance and time to market--route to Wi-Fi offload? Or should operators have some other company build and operate the Wi-Fi infrastructure on their behalf? And does this create an opportunity for operators to jointly share the cost and benefits of this effort? Commentary


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