Nearly 400-million strong ecosystem to monetize Wi-Fi: report

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Service providers and enterprises continue to find new revenue opportunities in Wi-Fi as the number of installed access points ramps up to nearly 400 million commercial and enterprise units by 2019, according to analyst firm ABI Research.

Credit: wikispears.com
Credit: wikispears.com

Emerging technologies like Hotspot 2.0, VoWi-Fi, and 802.11ac in the Wi-Fi space support further development of the current business models and encourage business model innovation.

Many businesses in different verticals like retail and hospitality have dropped the fees on Wi-Fi usage and started offering it as a free amenity service in order to attract more footfalls, increase customer satisfaction and eventually generate more sales and activity.

Furthermore, data analytics and targeted advertising provide tools for hotspot owners to increase the value of their networks, enhance end-user experience, attract strategic partners, and create a collaboration ecosystem.

?Collaboration between different stakeholders is essential to create new business models and expand the value chain in order to maintain continuous profit for all parties,? commented Ahmed Ali, research Analyst at ABI Research.

Service providers and enterprises have direct relationships with end-user customers and therefore play an important role in aggregating valuable data and controlling the delivery channels for products like mobile ads and apps. The potential B2C segment is extensive and ranges from small local shops to large international brands.

?Bringing together the supply from hotspot owners with the demand from various businesses creates an expanding B2B ecosystem of innovative solution providers,? added Ali.

?We find app developers, platform providers, advertising agencies, and marketing firms are all examples of companies that seize many opportunities in the Wi-Fi market.?

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