How do you monetize Wi-Fi? To answer that we are kicking off a series of blogs that will be zooming in on this issue. We will try to keep this short and sweet.
Wi-Fi Calling by carriers is here
If you’ve been following telecom over the past year or two you will know that Wi-Fi Calling has now gone mainstream. Wi-Fi Calling comes in various flavors but the most important is the kind that allows you to place a call over a Wi-Fi network just like you’d place any other call (using the green phone app, for example). Most carriers in the US (and many elsewhere) now support this and some even offer this on all devices sold.
A low-cost fix to a tricky coverage issue
Wi-Fi calling is a great fix to a tricky cellular issue: Providing good mobile coverage indoors. In many cases, if you have poor indoor mobile coverage there’s not a great deal you can do about it other than move. Fortunately, if you’ve got a good Wi-Fi network, you can now simply place a call using Wi-Fi.
Some venues – multi-tenant dwelling units, hotels, etc. – are so dependent on people being able to make phone calls that they (or their partners) install DAS systems for indoor cellular coverage. The cost of such systems can reach into the millions of dollars. The good news is that now you don’t always have to go that route.
Yes. You can save millions.
In my interview with CEO of managed Wi-Fi service provider SpotOn Dick Sherwin (see below) Dick said that one customer saved 1.7 million dollars on a DAS system by choosing Wi-Fi calling instead.
As Wi-Fi Calling becomes standard practice for mobile carriers, Wi-Fi becomes the technology of choice for indoor ‘cellular’ coverage. This is real convergence, folks. And nothing special is required of the Wi-Fi network – if you can get on it, you can use it for Wi-Fi calling. But of course, the Wi-Fi coverage should still be excellent.