The rapid development of LTE-U standards and the increasing number of its proponents brings into question the relationship between cellular network and Wi-Fi. “While a number of mobile operators, especially Wi-Fi laggards, would strongly back LTE-U and look forward to it to compensate for late or poor Wi-Fi adoption, the carrier Wi-Fi space continues to grow, attracting other players like fixed and cable operators. We expect a total shipment of nearly 2 million units in 2015,” comments Ahmed Ali, Research Analyst at ABI Research.
Technical advances in Wi-Fi transform operators’ objectives for the service from cost saving into revenue generating. On one hand, 802.11ac and WiGig standards offer great capacity improvement that is much needed in today’s increasing data consumption. On the other hand, standards like Hotspot 2.0 look to perfect the user experience through enhanced security and access mechanisms.
Early adopters incorporate new innovations in order to reinvent their business models and increase their networks’ ROI. “Wi-Fi calling, for example, provides opportunities for non-mobile carriers to enter and compete in the wireless market. Also, dual-SSID gateways allow operators with massive home and enterprise footprints to move into public Wi-Fi segment through community Wi-Fi,” continues Ali.
Generally, Wi-Fi services continue strengthening presence in different verticals and expanding into new ones. From an operators’ point of view, retail (especially food service) remains the closest friend. These dynamic and crowded locations are perfect hotspots for both data-offloading and revenue generating analytic services.
These findings are part of ABI Research’s Carrier Wi-Fi Market Research,which includes Research Reports, Market Data, Insights, and Competitive Assessments covering regional shipments and deployments in addition to standardization process, major vendor solutions and recent trends.
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