Carrier-Grade Wi-Fi Might Have Greatest Revenue Value as Wholesale Platform

Extensive “carrrier grade” public hotspot networks now are seen as providing substantial value for mobile and fixed network operators, but the perception of value is shaped by the legacy strengths and weaknesses of the contenders.

It easily can be argued that wholesale access and data offload will provide the most-concrete value, for some time, and perhaps over the longer term as well. The former generates new revenue, the latter offers cost reduction.

Excluding wholesale and offload, survey respondents to a Maravedis survey indicate that carrier-grade Wi-Fi has the biggest immediate potential for advertising revenue, followed by access fees.

Over time, location based services and video content are seen as bigger revenue opportunities. Support for carrier voice seems to be a widespread expectation, but the relatively low expectations for revenue might flow from several obvious aspects of the voice business model.

First, voice is driving a declining amount of revenue, so voice over Wi-Fi might not actually boost revenue for many, if any, contestants. On the other hand, cost reduction, especially for mobile virtual network operators, is a more-tangible possible benefit.

In fact, churn reduction might be the most-direct form of benefit, the survey, sponsored by the Wireless Broadband Alliance, suggests.

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