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Launching Passpoint Connectivity Deep in the Heart of Texas

ROB KALMBACH PHOTOGRAPHYThis is a customer perspective guest blog contributed by Dr. Derek Peterson, Boingo Wireless Chief Technology Officer.

In early 2014, Boingo made the bold move of launching Passpoint-enabled Wi-Fi at 26 airports throughout the U.S. and Brazil, bringing seamless, secure and instant Wi-Fi access to travelers with Passpoint-ready devices.

In partnership with Cisco, the Boingo team worked to launch Passpoint first in high-traffic locations serving tech savvy audiences hungry for a better way to connect. We found an ideal Passpoint pioneer deep in the heart of Texas: Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA), a long-time Boingo network partner.

The Austin airport has always been a technology trailblazer, focused on improving the customer experience by leveraging the best in new technologies and services. The airport was the first to offer Wi-Fi to passengers in 2000, and has since worked with Boingo to upgrade the network to meet today’s traveler connectivity needs.

ABIA is also serving an increasingly tech-savvy community. Austin is the gateway to one of the fastest growing culture and technology hubs in the United States, and has become a go-to spot for start-ups and tech companies. The city becomes the heart of the tech world every year for the South by Southwest festival, and the airport serves more passengers than ever before year-round, marking their first Read More »

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Apple’s Vote of Confidence for Voice and Text over Wi-Fi

I recently had the pleasure to read an excellent article by one of our industry’s leading analysts, Mr. Gabriel Brown of Heavy Reading titled “Analyzing Apple & VoLTE”. In this article, he makes the observation, that Apple – which is well known for keeping a strong focus towards their customer’s enjoying a high quality of experience – has included Voice over LTE (VoLTE) in their newest iPhones.  Mr. Brown goes on to quite rightly note that by including VoLTE, Apple makes the case that mobile operators now need an IP Multimedia Core Network Subsystem (IMS core) and a functioning VoLTE service.

Figure 1: Cisco VNI Global Mobile Data Forecast 2013-2018

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While I absolutely agree that Apple has provided a strong endorsement to VoLTE by including support for this feature, I believe that the Apple iPhone6 support for Voice over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi) and Text over Wi-Fi maybe as important (or more so).  Let me explain.  VoLTE is really a fact of life, it is going to happen and as long as a cell phone supports LTE it will be able to make or receive VoLTE calls as long as the carrier implements to network accordingly.  However, Wi-Fi has long been maligned as the poor step-child of mobile broadband.  Mostly because it is unruly (unlicensed) and anyone can deploy it (don’t have to be a carrier).  And while the distance limitations and handoffs (Wi-Fi to 3G or to LTE) play a big role too those issues are being addressed (at least by Cisco).  However, several reports, including Cisco’s own well regarded Visual Networking Index (VNI) for Global Mobile Data Traffic, show that mobile data usage over Wi-Fi is over 40% in 2013.  In fact, it is projected that there will be more traffic offloaded from cellular networks onto Wi-Fi than remain on cellular networks by 2018 (that’s less than four years away).

This news is not Read More »

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The Foundation for a Business Relevant Network

With the growing influx of new mobile devices, connected things, bandwidth intensive applications and more data, the network is more relevant to business success than ever before.  Back in June of 2012, Cisco saw that we needed to move away from multiple network systems loosely linked together to an agile and simple infrastructure, streamlined policy and centralized management would be needed to support new business demands. We called it Cisco Unified Access and we aligned the solution to three pillars: One Network, One Policy and One Management.

For the last few years, we have focused on delivering new products and functionality under this Unified Access model. Below is a timeline of products released as part of the Unified Access framework. Cisco lead the way in delivering gigabit 802.11ac Wi-Fi., converged wireless control in access switches and through the acquisition of Meraki – a complete cloud-managed network solution.

foundation

The timeline above doesn’t represent every feature and function we have delivered, but it shows Cisco’s commitment to this Unified Access model, both from a cloud-managed and on-premise solution perspective.

Today, Cisco is announcing a number of new products and new functionality to existing products that will help mobilize the workforce, secure the business and increase IT agility. The announcement includes the following: Read More »

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Freemium Business Models for Mobile

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In this continuing series of blogs about Mobile Data Monetization*, let’s look at the Service Provider Freemium business model, which involves offering a basic service for free (indefinitely, or for a trial period) to incent some other subscriber behavior that the operator can monetize. Let’s look at the typical reasons that operators have in offering a Freemium service:

1.) Encourage users to upgrade up to a higher-price, higher-quota mobile data service in order to get the Freemium service. We’re seeing more and more of this approach, especially in conjunction with LTE service offers. For example, in the early days of Verizon Wireless’ LTE roll-out, it offered a free 1-year subscription to NFL Mobile Premium to drive subscriber upgrades from 3G to its LTE data plans and smartphones / Mi-Fi devices. Now, with the adoption of LTE services well underway, Verizon Wireless is leveraging its significant investment in NFL content rights by offering NFL Mobile Premium as a Freemium service to users who opt for one of its new “More Everything” pricing plans. In many markets where mobile data usage is low, some operators have taken to offering “zero-rated” usage of popular social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter for a period of time, usually 6 to 12 months, during which the data used does not count towards the subscriber’s monthly quota. The goal of this approach is to get the user accustomed to using these services over mobile so that he or she subscribes to a data plan at the end of the Freemium period.

2.) Entice users to eventually pay a premium for a more Read More »

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Join Us at The Internet Of Things World Forum Panel With AT&T, Sprint, and Vodafone

Mobile Making It Happen

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The Internet of Things (IoT) is opening up a world of real opportunities and rapidly transforming our communities, our cities and our daily lives. The second annual Internet of Things World Forum (IoTWF) in Chicago, October 14–16, 2014 marks a defining moment in the growth of the IoT.

While today most of the current IoT solutions do not have the ability to seamlessly connect and service the types of devices expected to be part of the 40 billion “things” forecasted to be activated by 2020. Yet mobile operators can uniquely deliver the connectivity (e.g., 2G / 3G / 4G / Wi-Fi / Small Cell) required to all devices anywhere, anytime, any place. Add in the mobile operator’s service delivery platform with the agility to activate thousands of devices at a time, the scalable cloud capacity for reduced OpEx, and a new application development platform enabling increased service creation velocity –and you’ve got a winning formula. So if you plan to attend this year’s IoT World Forum in Chicago make sure you sign up for the session the The Value Delivered by the Service Provider in IoT and listen to service providers discuss how to improve IoT experiences, increase business impact, and make money while doing it.

The Panel:

  • AT&T SVP, Kevin Petersen – AT&T Digital Life
  • Sprint Director, Mohammed Nasser – Connected City
  • Orange Deputy Director, François Duquesnoy — Orange Smart Cities & Territories

The Topics We’ll Cover: Read More »

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