The outlook for Wi-Fi is truly eye-opening today. Just consider some of these numbers:
- By 2021, of all IP traffic (fixed and mobile), 50 percent will be Wi-Fi, 30 percent will be wired, and 20 percent will be mobile.
- From 2016 to 2021, the number of public Wi-Fi hotspots will globally grow six-fold, from 94 million in 2016 to 541 million.
As these figures, from the Cisco Visual Networking Index Forecast, show, data connectivity has become a must for mobile users at any moment or location, and users continue to look to those of us in the mobile industry to make Wi-Fi more available and easier to connect to.
Syniverse recently had an opportunity to help address this need when we attended Wireless Global Congress London. This annual conference is held by the Wireless Broadband Alliance and brings together several hundred leaders from mobile service providers, equipment manufacturers, industry organizations, and other technology players to explore next-generation mobile service opportunities. The event is a key conference for Syniverse that we look forward to attending each year to build on our long relationship with the Wireless Broadband Alliance.
The conference began with two days of working group sessions, where industry leaders and subject-matter experts gathered to address some of the latest issues and trends in wireless connectivity. The sessions included discussions on Wi-Fi calling, 5G, and interoperability standards, among many other topics, as well as a number of meetings centered on the internet of things (IoT). I had the opportunity to serve as the working group leader for a session on IoT dynamic roaming, and I led a discussion focused on leveraging the lessons learned and the standards created for WI-FI roaming and using these standards to eliminate many of the potential challenges for roaming with IoT devices. Our talk was well-received, and I think it will help our industry continue to advance roaming with IoT-based technologies.
After the working group sessions concluded, the full conference began, and we had the opportunity to meet and exchange insights with a number of customers and industry peers on some of the latest issues and trends in Wi-Fi.
The highlight of these meetings was the announcement of our new Mobile Marketplace solution that we unveiled at a special venue called the Innovation Lounge. I began the presentation by highlighting that with Wi-Fi connectivity today, consumers know how to access Wi-Fi, there is ample supply of networks, there are a number of business incentives for operators and enterprises to offer Wi-Fi to their customers, and the technology to enable seamless Wi-Fi roaming is now available. As a result, we should be at a point where large-scale Wi-Fi roaming is available. However, despite all these ideal conditions, Wi-Fi roaming has yet to reach its full potential because of a single business challenge: Wi-Fi wholesaling is unnecessarily difficult.
Syniverse’s Mobile Marketplace is specifically designed to addresses this longstanding challenge. In particular, until recently, the process for establishing a successful wholesale agreement between partners required a great deal of effort and lacked a bona fide return on investment. With any Wi-Fi service agreement, a number of technical, business, financial and legal steps had to be resolved. This process involved a good amount of motivation on the part of both parties, and it in turn required a clear view of the potential return on investment for such an effort.
Mobile Marketplace addresses this challenge by providing a centralized, user-friendly platform that enables service providers as well as enterprises to easily buy and sell Wi-Fi with the click of a button. The service eliminates much of the cumbersome process of having to manage Wi-Fi wholesale agreements that require buyers and sellers to navigate the intricacies of determining coverage, pricing, legal requirements and technical specifications. Instead, those looking to gain Wi-Fi coverage or augment an existing Wi-Fi footprint can use the Mobile Marketplace interface to input specific criteria and locate providers that can meet their precise connectivity needs. What’s more, all details related to legal requirements, partner invoicing, currency conversion and billing can be automatically handled through Syniverse’s platform.
We had a productive time discussing the opportunity for Mobile Marketplace at Wireless Global Congress, as well as collaborating with customers and peers to exchange insights on the latest going on with Wi-Fi. As the numbers from the Cisco Visual Networking Index Forecast above show, Wi-Fi will play a more and more important source of connectivity in our lives in the next few years. We’re looking forward to building on our experience at Wireless Global Congress and using our Wi-Fi solutions to play a key role in enabling this next chapter.
As Senior Product Management Director, Dan Klaeren is responsible for Syniverse’s Wi-Fi, IoT and mobile virtual network enabler (MVNE) services. In this role, he uncovers new opportunities and devises new business and technology solutions for Wi-Fi operators, cable operators, mobile operators, and enterprises. Dan brings over 20 years in developing and managing information technology solutions, which have included senior roles at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Fidelity Information Services and Prudential. Prior to joining Syniverse, in 2012, he led several small businesses that specialized in delivering custom mobile applications, mobile content delivery systems and mobile messaging applications. Dan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in information technology and advanced mobile development certifications from the University of Phoenix, and he is a frequent contributor to the development of Wi-Fi standards for industry groups such as the Wireless Broadband Alliance.