T-Mobile USA is embracing wifi as a network offload technology by making all smartphones it sells capable of HD voice over wifi (VoWifi) calling. In order to plug coverage gaps in homes and businesses the company is also making a wifi hotspot loaded with proprietary technology available to its subscribers.
4G and public wifi networks now account for approximately 35.6 petabytes of data consumed by the UK public when out-of-home every month, according to a report by UK government advisory firm Broadband Stakholder Group (BSG). The study found that data consumed out of the home accounts for roughly 5% of all data used in the UK, with residential broadband generating approximately 650 petabytes per month.
Samsung Electronics claims to have broken speed barriers in the development of 60GHz wifi technology. The 802.11ad wifi standard, dubbed “WiGig”, is claiming data transmission speeds of up to 4.6 gigabits per second (Gbps), a five-fold increase on current speeds of 866 megabits per second (Mbps) through the 802.11ac standard.
The US operation of Japanese equipment vendor NEC recently unveiled a partnership with intelligent wifi architecture specialist Meru Networks to collaborate on software defined network (SDN)-enabled unified wired and wireless enterprise access.
UK fibre network operator and cableco Virgin Media has added cellular player Three as the latest wholesale partner for its wifi on the London Underground service. By the end of July, Three customers will be able to access wifi at over 144 Tube stations for no extra cost.
Mobile chip giant Qualcomm has announced the acquisition of Wilocity, which makes chips based on the much faster 802.11ad wifi standard, otherwise known as WiGig, and plans to throw it into the Snapdragon connectivity mix.
The UK’s smallest and most disruptive mobile operator, 3 UK, is embracing voice over wifi in an apparent effort to offload traffic from it’s cellular network. The company is launching an app, Three inTouch, which will allow customers to talk and text using a wifi connection.
Australian incumbent Telstra is set to create one of the world’s largest wifi networks under a A$100m plus deal with global hotspot network Fon.
US regulator the Federal Communications Commission voted Monday to free up more spectrum for wifi usage in a bid to help nudge the capabilities of typical installations of the technology over the 1Gbps mark.
David Fraser, CEO of Devicescape talks to Telecoms.com at MWC2014 about the opportunities for network operators to drive revenues over wifi networks. Devicescape operators a global, curated wifi network over which operators can push their services.
Despite the range of recognised benefits available to mobile operators through wifi provisioning, there are clear concerns that the economics might not stack up. When respondents to the Telecoms.com Intelligence Industry Survey 2014 were asked to rank challenges that operators might face in deploying their own wifi networks, return on investment was considered as the most serious obstacle by far. A total of 53.3 per cent of respondents ranked RoI six or seven out of seven in terms of seriousness (with seven being the most serious), with that number rising to almost 57 per cent among operators.
Students at US educational institution Stanford University are working on a research project that aims to improve the way users access wifi networks in their homes and enterprises.
Wifi offload specialist Devicescape has announced that its Curated Virtual Network (CVN) of amenity wifi hotspots has grown 82 per cent year on year to surpass 20 million hotspots worldwide. The firm added that it is on track for that figure to grow to 100 million hotspots by the end of 2017.
Wifi hotspot provider Fon has announced that it has attracted $14m in funding from several investors. It would not disclose how much each investor contributed but said that chip maker Qualcomm contributed the largest share of the total. Tech giant Google and European operator group Deutsche Telekom also contributed to the funding, along with venture capital firms Index Ventures, Coral and Atomico.
The majority of consumers (74 per cent) in France, Germany, Sweden and the UK are willing to switch service providers in order to gain access to seamless wifi discovery and authentication features, according to research published Tuesday. Moreover, 91 per cent said they would be more loyal to a current service provider that offered a service which incorporated these features.
UK LTE pioneer EE has revealed that use of public and private wifi connections is dropping among its LTE subscription base. In a survey of its LTE customer base, EE found that 43 per cent were using “fewer or no public wifi hotspots” since moving to the technology.
UK telecoms regulator Ofcom is undertaking a consultation with telcos and other stakeholders over the use of the 5GHz spectrum band for wifi services. The regulator said it is looking to develop a better understanding of the role that shared spectrum access could play in the mobile broadband and M2M sectors alongside cleared spectrum bands.
Enterprise clients typically represent the subscriber group with the highest value for mobile operators. Mobile operators typically have whole departments dealing with large enterprise customers, but so far they have paid limited attention to the most important need of the mobile workforce: excellent mobile coverage in the office. This has been a reason for enterprise clients churning, especially when fierce competition allows competitors to offer better levels of service.
But this is now changing and enterprise specific technologies are evolving as the need to retain these high value customers becomes stronger.
UK-based telecoms and broadcast infrastructure firm Arqiva has acquired location based media firm Selective Media, which provides targeted advertising campaigns over Arqiva’s wifi network.
Telecoms.com talks to Andrew Robinson, head of digital media and tech at Liverpool Football Club about the decision to make wifi connectivity available to fans in its its Centenary stand and the revenue benefits that the club expects to derive from the installation.