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Passpoint Delivers a New Level of Wi-Fi Usability

The rise of new Wi-Fi-enabled mobile devices and the growing ubiquity of Wi-Fi access points in most countries has been astounding.  Recent mobile consumer research by the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) clearly demonstrates that most mobile devices are now Wi-Fi-enabled, and that approximately 70 to 80 percent of the time that consumers use these devices, they are potentially within range of a Wi-Fi access point. In fact, the research shows that one-third of the time, smartphone users are choosing Wi-Fi—rather than their mobile cellular network—to connect to the Internet. We expect that within the next two years, the number of Wi-Fi connections will reach parity with mobile cellular network connections. Wi-Fi has truly become a part of the mobile equation as consumers increasingly look to it to connect to rich mobile media experiences and to power their new, essential nomadic devices, such as tablets and eReaders.

While Wi-Fi is truly becoming a viable and essential complement to mobile, the user experience is certainly not without its challenges. Who hasn’t experienced the frustration of having to log on to a splash page and enter a complex passcode to gain Wi-Fi access at a public hotspot. And you have to repeat this complicated process every time you return for your morning cappuccino. The Cisco IBSG research clearly demonstrates that people also want seamless integration among Wi-Fi hotspots, and increasingly between mobile cellular and Wi-Fi networks.

The recent launch of the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Passpoint program by the Wi-Fi Alliance (WFA) offers to make this integration a reality. This industrywide, interoperable platform, supported across a range of networks and devices, will revolutionize the Wi-Fi user experience and become a key enabler of seamless data offload from mobile networks to public hotspots.

Here are the key Passpoint features planned for mid-2012: Read More »

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Wi-Fi Goes Public

It seems that everywhere you go these days, the little Wi-Fi icon on your mobile device lights up to show that an access point is nearby. In fact, The Wireless Broadband Alliance predicts that the number of public Wi-Fi hotspots globally will grow more than fourfold, to 5.8 million, by 2015. This increasing availability of public hotspots is creating a new “nomadic” network to rival traditional mobile networks and support new mobile devices and their owners’ lifestyles (see blog posting “A New Type of Mobility”). Consumers now expect to have Wi-Fi access when they are sipping a latte in their favorite coffee shop, watching their team score the winning touchdown at the local stadium, or even when they are waiting in line to pay for their groceries.

To learn more about what consumers are doing with their mobile devices, and how and where they are using them, the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) recently conducted a survey of U.S. mobile users. Following are our top three findings related to the use of public Wi-Fi: Read More »

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Consumers Are Ready for Omnichannel Banking—What About Banks?

Have you  walked into a retail store lately and seen someone use his or her phone to “scan” a product’s bar code to get immediate access to reviews from consumers who have bought the product? This customer might also (to the chagrin of retail store owners) be looking for cheaper prices offered online or in a physical store around the corner!

This is the new “omnichannel” reality that retailers have to face nowadays—one where virtual and physical channels come together to enable in-store access to web-based customer reviews and price comparisons, while also taking some physical store capabilities to the virtual channel (for example, Remote Deposit Capture in banking). Read More »

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Mobile Internet Applications in Rural Africa

By Molly Mattessich, Guest Columnist

In some ways, rural countries, including those in Africa, are ahead of the United States on technology. Without the infrastructure — offices, network lines, etc. — to use the Internet in more traditional ways, they have relied on cell phones to exchange information.

According to Cisco’s recent VNI Service Adoption Forecast (VNI-SA) research, mobile commerce ranks as the second-fastest-growing consumer mobile service, increasing at a 42.7 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) globally from 2011 to 2016. The Middle East and Africa will have the second-highest number of users in 2016, reaching 424 million.

Rural farmers in Africa, for example, now often use their cell phones to check commodity prices before heading to market, helping them improve their bottom line at times when a few cents can make a huge difference. Read More »

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Planning to Work Remotely This Summer – You are Not Alone

June 26, 2012 at 8:00 am PST

In a recent study conducted by Cisco WebEx by Wakefield Research, small business owners will spend up to four weeks working remotely. They will do by using online tools and web collaboration to stay in touch and get the job done. The survey was conducted between June 6 and June 14, involving the owners of businesses with 100 or fewer employees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer may be the time for vacations, but small business owners can’t afford to be away from the office for long. To make the most of work and personal time, many plan to work remotely, on average, 18 days this summer, according to the survey of 500 U.S. small business owners.

One way to get it done is with a free basic account from WebEx.

15% say they intend to work remotely 36 days or more. Read More »

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