Cable multiple service operators have an opportunity in the Wi-Fi First trend.
As noted in a comprehensive Alcatel-Lucent (News - Alert) white paper, How Wi-Fi First Drive MSO Success, “Wi-Fi First” is the trend where mobile connections use Wi-Fi when available and cellular when such Wi-Fi connections are not available. In the first of what is a three-part series on the importance of improved indoor coverage and its integration with other services, enhancing Wi-Fi is a financial boon for cable operators.
In the first article we looked at the emergence of voice-over-Wi-Fi and why it holds out so much promise in general. Attention is now turned to the strategy of maximizing the opportunity. Focus is on In particular, converged cable MSOs that have been acquired by or that have acquired a MNO and MSOs that offer mobility service bundles. These extend standard fixl6ed services for content and communications through a full mobile virtual network operator (F-MVNO) who are in the best position to benefit from Wi-Fi First, according to a recent Alcatel-Lucent article by Steve Davidson, Cable MSO Wi-Fi First offers unique opportunity.
“A Wi-Fi First strategy can incrementally benefit MSOs that have access to both Wi-Fi and cellular assets, noted Davidson on the article. “With these assets, they can provide wireless broadband service based on an unlicensed/licensed mobility scheme built on Wi-Fi, and LTE (News - Alert), or 3G.”
A Wi-Fi First strategy enabled MSOs to keep customers connected while reaping substantial benefits. Alcatel-Lucent has found that up to 65 percent of voice calls on an F-MVNO enabled MSO network are made in the home environment alone, according to Davidson, and indoor coverage by macro cells often is an issue due to building insulation and the move from 900 MHz 2G to 2100 MHz 3G and 2600 and 1800 MHz LTE.
MSOs can direct mobile data and voice traffic to and from the cellular radio access networks to their Wi-Fi radio access networks to optimize capital spend on access networks and lower the total cost of ownership. They also can optimize the costs relating to cellular connectivity by what is known as Wi-Fi offload.
“Bell Labs (News - Alert) Consulting indicates that MSOs can glean significant savings from data steering alone,” noted Davidson.
Wi-Fi calling in some cases also can provide reduced setup times compared with 2G/3G circuit-switched voice, and MSOs can gain substantive savings on national roaming provider costs and international roaming costs through Wi-Fi First.
“They can enable video call steering from cellular to Wi-Fi access, which saves capacity in their cellular networks,” said Davidson. “They can deliver HD audio and they can offer enhanced presence applications.”
Wi-Fi First mobile connections are going mainstream, and MSOs are in a good position to take advantage of the trend. In our last posting more details on why there is some urgency in moving first as well as fast will be explored.
Edited by Peter Bernstein