Analysis of service provision models via Smart Wi-Fi

April 2015

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Analysis of service provision models via Smart Wi-Fi
Analysis of service provision models via Smart Wi-Fi
April 2015

Analysis of service provision models via Smart Wi-Fi

April 2015

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One of the key trends on Wi-Fi market is the beginning of operators’ transition toward new generation of solutions – smart Wi-Fi networks, which are not being positioned as alternative to cellular communication anymore, oppositely, supplementing them, implemented into each other on the infrastructure and new business models. At the same time, the functionality of operators’ Wi-Fi solutions is expanding, communication networks transform into convergence smart surroundings. The implementation of SDN concept allows to manage successfully convergence networks, including end-to-end traffic management and frequency resources. 


J’son & Partners Consulting presents brief results of the analysis of service provision models via Smart Wi-Fi.



Requirements to Operator Class Wi-Fi Networks


Basic requirements to modern Wi-Fi networks, which are being integrated into telecom infrastructure of communication operators, are lying mainly in the sphere of security, comfort use, high quality and safety. For example, for comfort use, the following functions are needed – automated authorization and connection, solid-drawn roaming, users’ management and geo location monitoring. The quality and safety include the efficient management of large number of Wi-Fi access spots (hundreds and thousands), mobile traffic offload and QoS (Quality of Service) management.


On practice, key Wi-Fi networks are connected to the lack of quality control, low mobility and complicated access scenarios. For example, low connection quality or even connection breaks due to external interferences; low mobility means lack of solid-drawn roaming during customers’ relocations from one access spots to another.


In the meantime, one of the key trends is lying in terms of SDN concept. For example, the use of software for centralized management of Wi-Fi networks of high density. This, in particular, allows to implement the mechanism of end-to-end traffic management and frequency resources in hybrid networks - Wi-Fi/LTE/GPON, which can be positioned as one of the key smart Wi-Fi network peculiarity.


The above described problems are being gradually solved via international industry associations on the level of standards (for example, 3GPP, IEEE, WBA, Wi-Fi Alliance) and are being implemented in solutions of access spots manufacturers and subscriber devices.


For example, the implementation of automated Wi-Fi offload became possible thanks to the fact that new functional element ANDSF became available in the package backbone operator’s network. Support of expanded authentication protocol with the use of SIM card (Enhanced Authentication Protocol, EAP-SIM) gives users an opportunity not to log in for Wi-Fi access, as authorization is automatic. And the support of Hotspot 2.0 technology allows to use Wi-Fi in roaming operators’ partners networks without authentication.


Meanwhile, some important elements of modern Wi-Fi networks have not yet been implemented on the level of subscriber devices. This is, for example, record of IP-address in the process of subscriber device transition from LTE network to Wi-Fi, which is provided via Dual-Stack Mobile IP (DSMIPv6) protocol, although major manufacturers planned to support it. In perspective, it will give an opportunity to provide mobility – constant (solid-drawn) handovers between different wireless networks without connection and quality loses.


It is also important to mention that the implementation of such technologies as 802.1x, 802.11i, 802.11u and HotSpot 2.0 is making security level of Wi-Fi networks almost the same as the level of 3G and LTE, and such networks transit from “unsecure” category (general Wi-Fi networks) to the “secure”.


Expansion of Wi-Fi network’s throughput capacity becomes another trend after acceptance of IEEE 802.11ac standard (so called “Gigabyte Wi-Fi”). The key deterrent factor for the new technology nowadays is the lack of subscriber devices variety and its support. Mainly, Gigabyte Wi-Fi is supported by flagman leading smartphones and tablet PCs manufacturers’ models – Apple and Samsung. Besides, the development of new Wi-Fi standard in Russia is restrained due to the lack of legal base.


According to 4G Americas data, there are the following problems, which exist on the boarder of Wi-Fi and cellular networks:


  • Premature selection by device a Wi-Fi network without terms’ comparison in 3GPP and Wi-Fi networks;
  • Strong signal and high load of Wi-Fi access spot;
  • Low throughput line in the channel between Wi-Fi access spot and backbone networks;
  • Switches between 3GPP and Wi-Fi having the same level of signal (ping-pong effect). 


Smart Wi-Fi Networks’ Definition

J’son & Partners Consulting is defying Smart Wi-Fi as “title” for operator class wireless networks of new generation, which provide comparability of cellular communication standards 3GPP and Wi-Fi and have a range of key characteristics, such as:


  • Provision of effective mobile traffic offload mechanisms onto Wi-Fi network;
  • Unified authentication and safety mechanisms for 3GPP and Wi-Fi networks, support of Wi-Fi roaming;
  • Steady (solid-drawn) handover between 3GPP and Wi-Fi networks;
  • Increased security;
  •  Expanded through put capacity;
  • End-to-end traffic management and frequency resources in hybrid networks based on SDN concept.
  • Operators’ Business Models


Main tendency in B2C segment is the decreasing popularity of classical business model «pay as you go» - payment for Wi-Fi access services by customers with tariffs by access time or (rarely) by volume of traffic. The model where Wi-Fi access is included in package operator’s offer is considered as a way to keep customers and to cut the subscriber churn, rather than an opportunity to gain additional earnings. For the mid-term perspective – share decrease of operators’ revenue from the provision of wireless access services is expected (payment received from end customers and external companies), while the revenue from services and apps will increase. According to Maravedis-Rethink’s forecasts, cellular operators and Wi-Fi providers’ incomes from the provision of access to the Internet will decrease from 67 % until 40 %, in the meantime, revenue share from services connected to M2M/IoT will overstep the level of 20 % (Figure 1).



Decreasing revenue growth rates from provision access to the Internet will force operators to seek new revenue sources in order to justify investments in the increasing capacity of Wi-Fi networks, expansion of coverage and provision of QoS.


Major Points of Growth


Some revenue generators in Wi-Fi networks are due to transit towards large scale operators’ class networks, while the interest toward separate hot spots will decrease.


Key increase points for operators’ revenue in the segment are:


  • Services for corporate clients with increasing necessity of mobility for employees, which should be online, participate in distant meetings etc;
  • Voice-over-Wi-Fi for operators or end users;
  • Packages of services, including Quad-Play, in case if Wi-Fi supports the quality of the service (including video apps), comparable with QoS of licensed operator class networks.


Business models in public Wi-Fi networks can be divided in to the “established”, fast-growing and “new born” ones, which won’t be able to provide solid revenue for operators in the coming future (Table 1). Operators can simultaneously use several business models creating several cash flows; on the other hand, requirements to the services (QoS) and throughput capacity for some apps are also increasing.



Many of perspective business models focus on apps, which require steady Wi-Fi access (especially for companies, operating in retail trade) or on attraction of wide range of partners for networks’’ owners in order to increase the revenue. Among the most perspective monetization models of public Wi-Fi it is possible to specify – Wi-Fi Offload and services for business; on the other hand – users’ services, connected to analytics, marketing and geo location.


More Detailed Review of Some of Above Listed Models


Wi-Fi Offload


According to Cisco VNI data, in 2014 share of mobile traffic offload via Wi-Fi was 35-55% in most countries in the world. USA, Canada and South Korea are exceptions, at that USA and South Korea are also among the leaders by average consumption of mobile traffic from smartphones. In the world the share of offloaded traffic from smartphone Wi-Fi traffic is 51% and average traffic consumption is 819 Mbyte, while Western Europe indicators are 51% and 824 Mbyte, in Russia – 50% and 817 Mbyte accordingly. Average Russian indicators are on the level of global and west European indicators.


Partnership of cellular operators in the sphere of mobile data traffic offload by Wi-Fi networks’ owners is one of the solutions traditionally considered as a necessary one for data transfer cost decrease. By Wireless Broadband Association (WBA) estimation, the use of Next Generation Hotspots, NGH in addition to operators’ network will allow to decrease costs on 1 byte transfer per 18%, if 20% of the traffic passes via Wi-Fi. In case of NGH use and 4G small cells, costs on data byte transfer will be 38% costs in 3G network.


The use of such model in Russia was confirmed by ER-Telecom and VimpelCom operators. In the mid of 2014, others operators’ representatives surveyed by J’son & Partners Consulting didn’t consider the implementation of Wi-Fi Offload for the midterm perspective. They explained this by the fact that the development of networks’ infrastructure, in particular fiber-optic lines and the transit of base stations on digital technologies, will allow to provide networks capacity with the surplus for the growing traffic.


Besides Wi-Fi Оffload is relatively new technology and there are technical barriers for it massive implementation:

  • The diversity of mobile devices, which don’t have a necessary functionality, for example, the support of authentication via SIM card (EAP-SIM);
  • Necessity to develop additional software for process automatization between networks - 3G/4G and Wi-Fi;
  • Questions of authentication clearness in Wi-Fi networks with the use of SIM card data and centralization of traffic data in terms of operators’ networks cores.


Voice Calls via Wi-Fi (VoWi-Fi)


Voice calls via Wi-Fi, «Voice over Wi-Fi» or «Wi-Fi Calling» is the only extension of operators Wi-Fi model, considering the far going distribution of “flat” tariff plans and competition between operators and OTT services. In 2014 the key driver in acceptance of this model by operators became the support of Wi-Fi Calling function on the level of iOS 8 operational system on Apple devices.


As of March 2015, commercial VoWi-Fi services were launched only on American operators’ networks - T-Mobile and Sprint, several operators are planning to launch it in the nearest future (EE, Vodafone UK, Telefonica, Telstra etc.), nevertheless VoLTE still remains the priority service among largest American operators Verizon and AT&T. Operators’ survey on Telecoms.com showed (beginning of 2015) – the investments in VoLTE is more likely possible in 2015 in comparison with Voice over Wi-Fi (Figure 2). It says that VoWi-Fi will more likely remain as a niche solution in the nearest future, although several experts are counting on exponential VoWi-Fi traffic growth in the mid-term perspective. In particular, according to analysts’ forecasts, voice traffic VoWi-Fi will be higher than VoLTE by 2019. (Figure 3). 




Location Based Services (LBS) and Analytics Services


Another perspective direction of WI-Fi services with additional value is the provision of Location Based Services and analytics. Such solutions can be used by B2B clients in order to identify the highly populated places: the most popular places on one hand (if we speak about trade centers, for example), or places, which require traffic offload on the other hand (for example, transport, stadiums etc.). Besides, LBS services can deliver different content to end customers in dependence on customers’ location.


Large vendors (Cisco and Ruckus Wireless offer cloud solutions), same as start-ups (Purple Wave) and separate operators (NTT) provide LBS solutions. For example, British start-up Purple Wi-Fi offers solutions for B2B-clients with an opportunity to analyze the data and marketing with the use of users’ personal data, which pass the authorization via Facebook, Twitter, Google, Instagram, Weibo and other social networks. Analytical platform is localized and supports 18 languages. Free version is also being offered with limited opportunities: there are no functions to manage the activity in the social networks, some statistic data, almost no marketing opportunities, and some other functions. The solution is offered directly or via local resellers. In the beginning of 2015 Purple Wi-Fi allocated $5 mln investments in order to facilitate faster launch on international market.


Roaming in Wi-Fi Networks


According to WBA estimations, roaming will be automated on more than 80% of public Wi-Fi networks by 2018. It will help to expand Wi-Fi coverage, especially internationally; the model of wholesale and aggregated traffic will also be developed. WBA’s survey showed – operators’ awareness about operators Wi-Fi roaming increased from 53.5 % in 2013 to 60.7 % in 2014. One of the most famous and large scale examples of Wi-Fi roaming implementation is Cable Wi-Fi Alliance project in USA. But a lot of Wi-Fi operators, especially in Asia-Pacific region are also interested in this and sign more and more roaming agreements (often under WBA). Two WBA programs are going to make interoperators roaming easier: ICP (Interoperability Compliance Program) and hot spots and devices standardization for automated work with each other. The last is possible via NGH and Wi-Fi Alliance PassPoint program.


The increase of operators Wi-Fi communities is an important driver for Wi-Fi roaming. The partnership of American cable operator Comcast and international telecom operator Liberty Global is the example of the large roaming agreement. The agreement covers around 5.5 locations in USA and Europe, which includes public hot spots and access spots inside Wi-Fi communities (2.5 mln access spots under Wi-Free and WifiSpots brands in Belgium, Netherlands, Ireland, Poland and Switzerland, 3 mln access spots Xfinity WiFi in USA).


Major Vendors


Ruckus Wireless, Cisco, Meru Networks, NEC, Aruba, Extreme Networks etc. are the major Wi-Fi equipment manufacturers, which focus on SDN concept. Nevertheless it is important to specify that almost all solutions of above mentioned suppliers are in vendors’ dependence. Meanwhile the perspectives of Wi-Fi SDN solutions use in operators networks depend mainly on the fact, if Wi-Fi SDN controllers, which are able to manage access spots of different manufacturers, are offered on the market,.


Specialized solutions are appearing from infrastructure vendors for integration of Wi-Fi with cellular networks. During Global Mobile Congress in 2015, Alcatel-Lucent Company announced about the strategy - Wireless Unified Networks, which is focusing on combining of existing Wi-Fi and cellular networks in one high efficient network in order to modify and improve the quality of wireless communication in home office networks, and also networks, which service zones with high customers’ density. Two possible ways for combination were provided: Wi-Fi boost technology, which uses cellular communication in order to increase Wi-Fi networks efficiency, and Cellular boost technology, which operates in a non-licensed spectrum and by this increases the efficiency of cellular network. In particular, Wi-Fi is being used for data upload in terms of Wi-Fi boost technology, and cellular communication – as an outcoming channel. According to Alcatel-Lucent’s estimations, this technology can increase the upload speed till 70% and increase offload speed in several times (in comparison with autonomous Wi-Fi on the boarder of cellular network), in case of typical home use.


The development of interoperators Wi-Fi roaming, internetwork cooperation with cellular networks and implementation of SDN concept will lead to changes in operators’ business models during the next years. Key trend – transit from the provision of paid access to the Internet toward apps and services for private and corporate clients, including M2M and IoT (Internet of Things).


Expert Opinion


Alexandr Felizhanko, Engineer-Consultant Cisco



Wi-Fi networks are developing in several directions, same as any mobile communication trend.


First of all, this is a technological perfection, spectrum efficiency and increasing growth of throughput capacity based on IEE 802.11ac standard implementation, easiness of choice and connection to the network. We get used to mobility in GSM and UMTS networks long ago and don’t think about mechanisms, which provide this. Same we want from Wi-Fi. All efforts of Wi-Fi community by certification of subscribers’ and networks’ equipment aimed at meeting HotSpot 2.0. specifications.


On the other hand, cellular operators had already put Wi-Fi to the category of secure wireless access networks and start to use in order to offload their own wireless networks. First steps had been made, despite the fact that a lot of technologies still had to be implemented on subscriber equipment, same as in operators’ networks. Relatively long ago, the clear authentication of cellular subscribers via log in information had been implemented, which is stored on SIM cards. The next is – clear Wi-Fi integration into package operators’ backbone networks with sessions mobility support during handovers between 3GPP and Wi-Fi networks, and even with the support of simultaneous use of both wireless networks on two-mode smartphones for transfer of data by different apps. 


First of all without any modifications of subscriber devices, like 3GPP Release 11 specifications, and then with implementation of 3GPP Release 12 & 13 technologies on subscriber equipment.


Well, and monetization question at the end. Wi-FI networks have started to bring solid additional income to operators. For example, for data sale – collection, analysis, correlation information about subscribers, who visit shops in trade centers, how often, how long, their purchases, age, sex, preferences etc. The last one can be received even from social networks. Such type of analytics – is another modern direction, about which operators shouldn’t forget.


Dmitry Oskin, Technical Director,  Ruckus Wireless, Russia and CIS


Smart Wi-Fi should provide high quality, secure and efficient wireless connection. New standard 802.11ас allows to work on high speeds, but it is only possible, if wireless access is able to provide secure connection in terms of high level of interferences, lack of clear “vision” between the client and the spot, and all of this relatively far distant from access spot. It means, the spot must be “smart” and use smart aerial array, which allows to focus wireless signal in necessary direction depending on client’s position and state of external surrounding and independent from the type of the client. Access spot also should be able to service large amount of clients simultaneously, in average from 100 till 250, and to provide good quality service. Practice shows that traditional architecture of access spots with the use of multidirectional aerials are not longer valid and cannot satisfy timing terms, requested from smart Wi-Fi. If there is no quality work with wireless channel, there is nothing to talk about. This is sort of platform (basic ground).


There are a lot of monetization ways nowadays, such as advertising display, collection of statistics by customers’ geo position in order to use this information for increase of sales, and analytics, necessary to understand which additional services, by Wi-Fi Calling type to offer, provision of roaming for partners, 3G/4G networks offload etc. But there, everything is stuck on wireless network efficiency, the higher the efficiency (of the smart access spot with smart aerial system), the higher service’s quality – higher clients’ satisfaction – owner can get higher income.


Smart Wi-Fi networks will obviously lead the future, as the necessity in the access will only increase and spectrum’s opportunities are unlimited, and the preferences will be on the side of those, who can provide quality work with clients on wireless channel in terms of high interferences.


Thierry Van de Velde, Leading Specialist in the Sphere of IP-Routing and Transport Technologies  (IPRT), Business Center Alcatel-Lucent in ЕМЕА Region


  1. What is modern Smart Wi-Fi today? 


Smart Wi-Fi can be characterized as follows – Wi-Fi networks, which provide access to the service without additional actions (zero-touch access), provide mobility and stability in customers’ servicing on large territories (campus, city, country) with the use of home spots, public access spots, corporate spots, city cells and mobile access spots (traffic transfer to cell network, for example, on movable objects or temporary events). Mutual authentication is happening in these networks (in accordance with 802.1x EAP), and not one-sided, when the network identifies the user.


Specific to such networks – automated access spots adjustment, management and authentication of end users (AAA servers, authorization portals) happened in the cloud, on virtual machines, and not on proprietary hardware (access controllers).


These Wi-Fi networks provide mobility for voice, video apps and data in cooperation with 2G, 3G, LTE networks. They establish voice as priority over video, and video – ground traffic by using 802.11e WMM and other technologies.



  1. What opportunities do operators have in the sphere of Wi-Fi networks monetization, which use innovational solutions?


In order to keep cellular communication subscribers, operators can add the services of connection to public and home spots in mobile tariffs.


Fixed Broadband service providers can organize public Wi-Fi networks, combining many home spots and use it to keep and attract fixed communication subscribers.


Operators can also offer remote access from home to operators index (Operator SSID) for employees in order to connect to corporate VPN networks (comparable to Private APN service in 3G/LTE networks.


It is possible to offer companies “guest” Wi-Fi access spots as a managed service, which guests and employees will use in order to access Internet from their devices. LAN-access via existing Wi-Fi SSID (private SSID) will still be under company’s control.


Such opportunities as Wi-Fi users and target advertising profiling, for example, via notifications, received voluntary in the browser, can be considered. These services can be provided together with adjustment of landing page per each organization. The service to follow customers’ relocation for further analysis can be provided to shops and trade centers (Wi-Fi analytics).


  1. What are the key tendencies and perspectives for Smart Wi-Fi networks development?


Smart Wi-Fi tendencies and perspectives can be characterized as:


  • Wi-Fi networks, providing two-sided mobility to 2G, 3G, LTE networks will be organized with the record of users’ IP-addresses for voice, video and data apps.
  • Simultaneous use of Wi-Fi and LTE networks will be available in order to expand the throughput channel and increase safety.
  • Integration of Wi-Fi access spots in small cells of 3G/LTE.
  • International roaming between fixed home and public access spots, organized in the same manner as between cable operators.
  • International roaming for cellular communication subscribers on fixed home and public access spots in order to gain cheaper communication services in comparison with cellular roaming.
  • Infrastructure virtualization (NFV/SDN).
  • Automatic (incl.geo position), remote Wi-Fi SSID access list configuration on subscriber equipment (smartphones, tablets, etc.)


Kirill Sokolov, Senior Manager, Marketing, Development and Fixed Products Management Department, VimpelCom


  1. Smart Wi-Fi Networks – your opinion?


We call it Managed Wi-Fi! Today Wi-Fi network allows to communicate with clients via exchange of different multimedia information (advertising picture, video, surveys, push-up messages via apps etc.), analyze and help to search information in accordance with clients’ preferences. Besides, Managed Wi-Fi allows to connect and service other gadgets and devices in one surrounding (TV, printers, light, security sensors etc.). It is also worth to mention the changes in approach of services, based on Wi-Fi: nowadays they are being provided under the service solution model i.e. all troubles with construction, monitoring, readjusting and many others are lying on operator. Client receives readymade solution with a wide scale of opportunities! Modern equipment and technologies, such as CleanAir, Client Link, Noise Suppression and many others, not just improve the quality in the covered Wi-Fi zones, but also allow to focus signals on a certain devices, erase technical problems with interference, noises, etc, and this all makes Wi-Fi networks more stable, high quality and secure for any data transfer.


  1. What opportunities do operators have in the sphere of Wi-Fi networks monetization, which use innovational solutions?


Wi-Fi  is an excellent loyalty instrument, additional benefit for the client in the process of choosing this or that restaurant, hotel etc. As a rule, for end customers – customers of popular cafes and restaurants, trade centers, city parks and universities, taxi services or metro – Wi-Fi access is being provided for free. As a result, it is not surprising that the number of spots with free Wi-Fi is increasing.


Among monetization instruments, VAS-services can be considered (filter, re-address, restriction zones and access policies) and also additional opportunities for services promotion depending on clients’ necessity.


  1. What are the key tendencies and perspectives for Smart Wi-Fi networks development?


I would like to specify the key perspectives and directions of Smart Wi-Fi development:

– increasing access spots (for example via ac, af technologies);

– increasing quality of data transfer, considering constant increase of mobile devices in the network;

– provision of statistic data;

– implementation of Offload + Voice over Wi-Fi technology for provision of data transfer services in high quality.


Andrei Fedorov, Leading Manager, Business Consulting Department,  Huawei in Russia


In the modern society, Wi-Fi is not just Internet access technology or corporate network. Wi-Fi became a platform, based on which, a lot of useful for business innovational services can be developed.


For example, trade center can analyze routes and number of customers via Wi-Fi, which helps to estimate the efficiency of advertising campaigns, to manage rent stakes for leasers. Airport can identify the flock and take necessary measures in real time. Special mobile apps allow users to cross the building in a shortest period of time – towards necessary shop, ATM etc. Restaurants, cafes, hotels etc. can identify their regular clients and offer personalized offers via push-messages, SMS or even advertising video monitors.


As for the future – speed will increase together with clients’ necessities, for example because of implemented 802.11ac  standard – mobile operators will cooperate with owners of large Wi-Fi networks (in trade centers and airports) for data offload, new business ideas will appear.


Sergey Monin, Head of Wireless Technologies Department, Applied Research Center for Computer Networks


  1. Smart Wi-Fi Networks – your opinion?


Nowadays, more or less important by size Wi-Fi network must be Smart. First reason is obvious – this network have to survive in a very difficult terms. Previously, access spot just chose less loaded frequency and operated on it during the total life cycle, today the algorithm of choosing frequency, size of channel is very non-trivial. That is why this intellect should operate in centralized manner – via controller, or in a distinguished way – on the group of access spots. Second reason – is the fact that modern Wi-Fi network have to integrate with large amount of additional services – simple delivery of wireless traffic to the client and back is not anymore interesting for anyone.


  1. What opportunities do operators have in the sphere of Wi-Fi networks monetization, which use innovational solutions?


Infrastructure for Wi-Fi Offload technology can be interesting for Wi-Fi network operators, even for a small company. This technology allows to offload cellular stations.


It will be interesting for operators, which provide Wi-Fi in trade centers to provide high quality Wi-Fi with contextual advertising, connected to clients’ geolocation.


Mesh project can also be interesting – this is network consisting of access spots, equipped with cheap video cameras, which provide global video monitoring over large territories (streets, squares etc).


Security Wi-Fi systems are also in the demand on the market. Such organizations like banks, government bodies, etc. wont transit traffic, they will monitor the location of different objects and erase threats.


  1. What are the key tendencies and perspectives for Smart Wi-Fi networks development?


Smart networks continue to increase its functionality. Geo services have good perspectives (services based on clients geo position). Previously, throughput capacity was a constraining factor for Wi-Fi networks. Since the approve of 802.11 ac Wave 2 standard in 2015, throughput capacity will increase and access spot will be able almost not working in half-duplex mode. It will allow to start using services, requiring high throughput capacity.


The merger of cellular communication with Wi-Fi networks will probably be finalized. Smart Wi-Fi must be ready for this.


Modern Wi-Fi network shall also learn to work with new generation of computer networks properly – support integration with SDN-controllers, for example. Such solution was developed based on the Applied Research Center for Computer Networks – universal Wi-Fi controller, which is adjusted to work in SDN-networks. This controller is aimed at organization of public networks, resistant to heavy traffic. Last year during one large event prototype pilot testing was made: visiting Wi-Fi network provided Internet access to more than 9000 thousand visitors, 63 access spots were combined, and have been centralized managed via prototype of the controller. Peak load was really high – 25 thousand simultaneous connections.


IlyaKhodyakov, CEO WiMark Systems


Smart Wi-Fi Solutions Market is developing globally, unlike Russia – where the market didn’t cross R&D border and marketing operators’ departments and services providers. This market, practically, is on early stage of development, and complicated business models do not allow to inform clients properly the value, which Wi-Fi can bring to their life and business.


We see the highest interest among large corporate clients and medium business in Smart Wi-Fi. Managing companies of hypermarkets, trading and business centers are ready to implement such solutions among the first, in case they will receive not just Wi-Fi but an opportunity to increase ARPU, leasers loyalty etc. If operators want to compete with OTT-services providers, they have to react on such business inquiries and create cloud solutions, which allow connecting new clients quickly, and providing managing Wi-Fi as a service. Business will get an opportunity to offer paid Wi-Fi services to clients: marketing services, based on analysis of subscribers geo-location (Wi-Fi + BLE devices) and their clients’ profiles; centralized Wi-Fi networks management and devices (Virtual Wi-Fi Management); premium Wi-Fi access and voice calls on top of Wi-Fi (Wi-Fi Calling/Wi-Fi First).


As for the end users, they don’t care which technology will provide connection to them: Wi-Fi, LTE and 3G/4G. They require a certain quality of services; clear mobility and low cost, and as for Wi-Fi – free use.


Operators will move towards convergence solutions for Smart Wi-Fi Offload. Such solutions will measure Wi-Fi and 3G/4G operation in real time, switch subscriber devices in accordance with different policies: location, time, tariffs etc.


In general, despite the difficult economic situation, the interest toward Smart Wi-Fi from business is not disappearing. Operators’ initiatives and appearance of the new not expensive domestic solutions will become a key development drivers for Smart Wi-Fi in Russia.


Detailed Results of the Research are Presented in the Full Version of the Report: Models Of Service Provision via Smart Wi-Fi





  1. Smart Wi-Fi: Definition and Key Characteristics

1.1.   Increasing Throughput Capacity (802.11ac Wave 2)

1.2.   Solid-Drawn and Secure Roaming (Hotspot 2.0)

1.3.   Network Choice Policy (HS2.0 / ANDSF)

1.4.   Solid-Drawn Transit in Wi-Fi Networks (Wi-Fi to Wi-Fi)

1.5.   Solid-Drawn Transit in Wi-Fi Networks and Cellular Networks  (Wi-Fi to Cellular)

1.6.   Scalability

1.7.   Convergence with Small Cells 3G/4G

1.8.   Integration with Mobile Communication Networks

1.9.   IncreasedSecurityLevel

1.10.Elements of Smart Positioning

1.11.Automated Authentication from Mobile Device (EAP-SIM authentication)


  1. Analysis of the Existing and Perspective Business Models in Wi-Fi Networks

2.1.Increasing Efficiency of Business Operator

2.1.1.Bundling of Wi-Fi service with other Services in Order to Keep Clients  

2.1.2.Alternative Mobile Access - Wi-Fi Offload


2.2.1.Classical Paid Services for Internet Access - pay as you go

2.2.2.Hotspot Premium

2.2.3.“Business Everywhere”

2.2.4.Video on Wi-Fi

2.2.5.Managed hotspots,Wi-Fi-as-a-Service, WaaS)         MonthlyOperatorsFee         GeoLocation Services         Advertising Model

2.2.6.Agency Model of Cooperation between Operators (Wholesale)         Wi-FiOffload         Roaming in Wi-Fi Networks         Home Wi-Fi Use for Public Access (Homespot Model)         Other Models

2.2.7.ValueAddedServices, VAS         M2M and IoT         Advertising Model         Services Regarding the Identification of GeoLocation of the User (LBS) and Analytics         Voice Calls via Wi-Fi (VoWi-Fi)

2.2.8.Integrated Wi-Fi Solutions for Stadiums

2.2.9.City (Municipal) Public Wi-Fi Networks’ and Wi-Fi on Transport Projects

2.2.10.  Other Business Models

  1. Key Issues of Wi-Fi Integration with Mobile Communication Networks

3.1.Key Prerequisites for Small Cells Use and Wi-Fi Networks (The Necessity of Wi-Fi Offload)

3.2.Key Problems on the Boarder of Mobile Communication and Wi-Fi Networks

3.3.Analysis of Wi-Fi Integration Solutions and Mobile Communication Networks

  1. The Development of Wi-Fi Networks in Terms of SDN Concept, Heterogeneous Networks (HetNet) and 5G Networks

4.1.SDN and Wi-Fi

4.1.1.Main Advantages of SDN for Wi-Fi

4.1.2.Cooperation Drivers and Barriers

4.1.3.Cooperation via Lynk SDN API

4.1.4.Implementation of end-to-end traffic management in HetNet and the billing

4.1.5.Vendors’ Solutions Analysis

4.2.HetNet and Wi-Fi

4.3.5G and Wi-Fi Networks

  1. Conclusions and Recommendations

List of Companies, Mentioned in the Report

List of Figures

List of Tables



This Information Note is Prepared by J’son & Partners Consulting, We strive to provide factual and prognostic data that fully reflect the situation and are available to us before issuing the material. J’son & Partners Consulting reserves the right to revise the data after publication of new official information by the market players.


J’son & Partners Consulting presents brief results of the analysis of service provision models via Smart Wi-Fi.