Wi-Fi Innovation Summit: Six Wi-Fi trends to keep an eye on

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Wi-Fi for public access is an exciting business to be in right now with lots of innovation happening among tech start-ups, carriers, and more widely among verticals and venue owners. For our new series of Wi-Fi industry events called the Wi-Fi Innovation Summits we’ll be zooming in on some of the hottest and most promising business opportunities in the making right now:

Monetizing ‘free’ Wi-Fi in public venues
Wi-Fi offers big benefits to nearly any owner of a public venue but how exactly can you make money on free Wi-Fi? The technology is already here and includes location-based services, analytics, consumer engagement, and intelligent advertising. Bringing it all together in real life is an opportunity and a challenge. At our Summits you’ll hear from the market leaders and the companies that are already doing it for real and with success – like Boingo Wireless of the US and Everything Everywhere of the U.K. Probably the world’s most successful Wi-Fi analytics company Euclid Analytics will share their experiences and their approach.

The ‘homespot’ story: Disrupting mobile markets?
FREE (Iliad) is doing it in France and so is ZIGGO in Holland: Enabling millions of home Wi-Fi gateways for public access. Homespots has helped FREE build a business case out of offering mobile services at rock bottom prices and this has upended the French market. We will see more of this happening for sure as ‘homespots’ is becoming a clear trend among cable operators everywhere. We’ll hear from the leading carriers as well as some of the most important technology vendors as well our team of analyst: What does it take to make homespots a success and is this the future of wireless?

Wi-Fi service management in the Cloud
Creating a great Wi-Fi service for venues with all the monetization options can be done in the Cloud and a couple of great start-ups like Cloud4Wi and Purple Wi-Fi are already making such services a reality and even mighty Google is reportedly mulling over such plans together with alleged partner Ruckus Wireless. We’ll be taking a close look at the technology and business potential of Cloud-based Wi-Fi service management including how to create compelling user journeys that boost usage & provide the right commercial benefits for venues.

Carrier Wi-Fi with Hotspot 2.0: A mass market proposition?
Hotspot 2.0 has long since been touted as the mass market enabler for public Wi-Fi and now we’re finally starting to see it happen live in the US and elsewhere. Hotspot 2.0 allows users seamless access to Wi-Fi networks and the ability to roam nationally or across borders. Are the carriers in the driver’s seat with Hotspot 2.0 or will OTT players including venues and big retail brands start offering seamless Wi-Fi access in other ways?

The ‘Wi-Fi First’ strategy: Do we really need mobile at all?
If you ask Scratch Wireless of the US, we don’t. Some 80% of the time smart device users are inside free Wi-Fi coverage anyway so there’s every reason to go ‘Wi-Fi First’. Both Scratch and Republic Wireless of the US are pushing their low-cost Wi-Fi based mobile services to cost-conscious and tech-savvy US consumers with success. We will delve into the details of the business model with the help of Scratch – and we will speculate on when ‘Wi-Fi First’ is coming to the rest of the world. It’s about time.

Seamless Wi-Fi Offload: The only low-cost alternative to cellular networks
Wi-Fi Offload is happening around the world for some 20-30 major mobile carriers but it’s still being kept largely under wraps, mostly for political reasons. The fact remains: Carrier Wi-Fi costs a fraction of mobile to deploy and offers many times the available band and therefore big capacity gains. Over the next few years we will certainly see more and more carriers integrate Wi-Fi into their mobile services. We will hear from the unofficial Wi-Fi offload ‘world champions’ Aptilo Networks and the leading intelligent device client vendors to learn the WHY and HOW of offload.