Mobile operators are increasingly relying on Wi-Fi networks, both directly and indirectly, to support their businesses. Out of the massive global Wi-Fi coverage in 2020, at least 6 million public locations will support Hotspot 2.0 features.
Although a number of operators have already upgraded or committed to upgrade their networks to support Hotspot 2.0, the adoption remains slow. Initially, Hotspot 2.0 offered seamless discovery and access, which can potentially enhance the user experience and attract more engagement. Operators, however, still lack the tools to generate revenue streams from this technology. “Hotspot 2.0 will evolve to allow operators higher flexibility for supporting different policies, which in turn, will encourage implementation of innovative business models, and ultimately wider market adoption” says Ahmed Ali, Research Analyst at ABI Research.
The rise of IMS-enabled Wi-Fi calling has boosted the confidence in Wi-Fi voice capability and is suggesting even a larger role for Wi-Fi technologies in 4G and 5G networks. Many operators that have tapped the technology in countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa and Hong Kong, have launched the service with VoLTE side by side, aiming for a complete seamless voice experience and driving the usage to five-fold by next year.
Migrating to 802.11ac is another top priority for operators in order to release or avoid congestion problems within public spaces. Following the residential and enterprise pattern, metro dual-mode access point shipments rapidly grow to dominate the carriers’ equipment shipment.
“Overall, investment in carrier Wi-Fi solutions remains significant despite the emergence of seemingly competing technologies like LTE-U and LAA. User demands as well as competition from non-telecom operators (e.g., cablecos) drive market activity and business case creation,”adds Ali.
These findings are part of ABI Research’s Carrier & Managed Wi-Fi Research Service, which include Research Reports, Market Data, Insights, and Competitive Assessments covering regional shipments and deployments in addition to standardization process, major vendor solutions and recent trends.
ABI Research provides in-depth analysis and quantitative forecasting of trends in global connectivity and other emerging technologies. From offices in North America, Europe and Asia, ABI Research’s worldwide team of experts advises thousands of decision makers through 70+ research and advisory services. Est. 1990. For more information visit www.abiresearch.com, or call +1.516.624.2500.
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