Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Operators Rushing to Wi-Fi

Light Reading Mobile reporter Michelle Doneghan reported last week that Deutsche Telekom is the latest operator to announce it is using Wi-Fi to offload its 3G networks.

businesspeople_running.jpgOlivier Baujard, DT's CTO, keynoted the Open Mobile Summit in London last week and told the reporter, "the operator would like to offload 20 percent of its cellular data traffic in an outdoor environment onto WiFi hotspots, and that it is now offloading just "a few percents" of its traffic."

The article also references a Heavy Reading report published recently and authored by Gabriel Brown, "WiFi Offload for Mobile Operators," that talks about the many active Wi-Fi engagements mobile operators have undertaken as they've moved "from a position of hostile objection to passive acceptance, and now active engagement."

The next logical step will be for them to realize there are ways to get more from their Wi-Fi services and make the customer experience smarter and better. This will result in improved indoor coverage and battery performance, easier access to Internet and data services, churn reduction, competitive VoIP response where operators are still keeping subscriber minutes on Wi-Fi, and even greater increases in network capacity.

As someone who has been evangelizing Wi-Fi for years now, I say woo hoo! I thrill to the sound of mobile operators embracing the benefits of Wi-Fi. Now, let's see the leaders take it to the next logical level.

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