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Cisco IBSG Study: WiFi for Service Providers

According to the Cisco Visual Networking Index, mobile network traffic is expected to increase 26-fold between 2010 and 2015, reaching 6.3 exabytes per month by 2015.  Global mobile traffic will grow three times faster than fixed IP traffic over this period. Because of this, mobile operators are trying to align this phenomenal network demand with revenue growth.

WiFi represents a significant business opportunity for service providers.  Many fixed, mobile or integrated SPs around the globe are either planning on or are already investing in WiFi services. Although commercial Wi-Fi hotspot services operated by specialized providers have existed for more than 15 years, WiFi is a relatively new business for the majority of SPs and has not reached the level of maturity of other well-established, “carrier-grade” communications services.  In particular, unlicensed frequencies and less-developed service management capabilities impose operational challenges.

Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) interviewed 14 SP executives worldwide to understand the trends in WiFi operations and the current challenges SPs face.   The results are in a paper titled “WiFi for Service Providers: Challenges and Opportunities for Carrier-Class Operations”.

The study revealed that, while SP executives are well aware of the rapid adoption of WiFi and initiatives launched by their competitors, they are trying to gain a better understanding of the implications of Wi-Fi for their operations. The study’s findings reveal the main drivers of WiFi and the opportunities that will enable SPs to create a carrier-class WiFi experience.

The remainder of the paper should be interesting . . . Please click on the title above for a direct link to the paper.

To access this and other interesting, provocative papers on various subjects relating to the service provider segment, go to the Service Provider Thought Leadership section of the website of Cisco’s IBSG organization.

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