Is a WiFi network coming to your town centre?

So why is WiFi coming to a town near you?

With the mass adoption of WiFi enabled mobile devices we all are demanding WiFi coverage wherever we are and this is driving demand for WiFi in public areas. High streets, public parks, shopping centers and public transport will all have pervasive coverage in the near future.

As a WiFi system integrator we are now starting to see more and more demand from councils and private landlords to provide WiFi coverage for the general public. No longer is WiFi seen as a "nice to have" and I would almost go to say that WiFi or internet coverage is so important to some people that being disconnected for a several hours is unbearable. (me included)

Mobile operators and 802.11u

Yes! the mobile operators are now looking to WiFi to deliver their service! For years they looked down on WiFi as an unlicensed, uncontrollable technology but with 802.11u due to be ratified very soon they are looking to WiFi to solve their data offload problems. Funny how things come round.

If your a council or landlord of a large public area don't be surprised if a mobile operator calls you up saying that they want to install for free, a WiFi network in your high street or shopping centre. So why would they be wanting to do this? Simple... The mobile operator, that is first to the lamp post will control the WiFi service. It is as simple as that.

The high street is the old roof space

Landlords; think of your high street or shopping centre as your roof space. The mobile operators were desperate for your roof tops years ago and paid a premium for this. So don't give away your next revenue opportunity!

Councils and landlords have a few options, they can either accept a mobile operator will come in and install a public WiFi service for free with the downside to this is that they will probably not receive an income from this, or if they do it will be minimum.

Keep the revenue yourself

The other option is to install your own WiFi service and charge the mobile operators for offering their service through your network. This is where the new 80211.u or " Passpoint " comes into play.

If you install your own WiFi service you will be able to charge each mobile operator for using your WiFi platform holding control of the service and more importantly keep a revenue stream. Or if your not interested and just want to add value to customers on your premise then you can allow the mobile operators to install for free and take responsibility for the service.

Whatever option is chosen for your local high street or shopping centre you can guarantee that a WiFi service is coming soon!

If you are a local council or landlord that would like to explore the options of installing your own WiFi service then please give us a call or use the contact us page.