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Wi-Fi Roaming Has Evolved Beyond Cellular Offload, Heavy Reading Says

Companies mentioned in this article: Heavy Reading

NEW YORK, July 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Wi-Fi roaming isn't just for cellular offload anymore, multiple system operators (MSOs) and enterprise customers are also moving toward Wi-Fi networks for cost savings across the board, especially for international roaming, according to the latest report from Heavy Reading 4G/LTE Insider, a paid research service of Heavy Reading (www.heavyreading.com).


Carrier Wi-Fi Roaming: Old Dog, New Tricks identifies and analyzes key issues driving and inhibiting the market for carrier Wi-Fi roaming. The report is based on interviews with a representative sample of companies in the ecosystem.

"Roaming has been around almost as long as cellular, and more than once it has periodically disrupted the mobile industry, as well as rest of telecom," notes Tim Kridel, research analyst with Heavy Reading 4G/LTE Insider and author of the report. "Roaming is poised to shake up mobile and the rest of telecom again, this time with the aid of Wi-Fi."

Wi-Fi roaming isn't new, nor is the role of mobile operators in facilitating it, Kridel says. "For MSOs, building a Wi-Fi network is cheaper than building a cellular network, if only because Wi-Fi doesn't require them to spend billions on spectrum licenses," he continues. "For enterprise customers, another reason for going with a paid Wi-Fi service is financial: companies with a significant number of road warriors could contract with a Wi-Fi service as a way to avoid big cellular data bills, especially when roaming abroad."

Key findings of Carrier Wi-Fi Roaming: Old Dog, New Tricks include:

    --  Wi-Fi is a way for mobile operators to mitigate cellular roaming
        challenges due to LTE fragmentation and European tariff reductions
    --  Cable operators are key enablers because they have the locations, power
        and backhaul necessary for large-scale hotspots
    --  Mobile operators can bundle Wi-Fi in ways that mitigate cannibalization
        of data revenue
    --  Scratch Wireless is an example of the type of Wi-Fi mobile service that
        companies, such as cable operators, Facebook and Google, could offer
    --  Despite the push to make Wi-Fi "carrier grade," it will remain a
        best-effort service
    --  Aggregators are getting stricter about the quality of service (QoS) that
        hotspot operators provide
    --  Small hotspot owners will enable Wi-Fi roaming in more places

Carrier Wi-Fi Roaming: Old Dog, New Tricks is available as part of an annual single-user subscription (6 issues per year) to Heavy Reading 4G/LTE Insider, priced at $1,595. Individual reports are available for $900 (single-user license).

To subscribe, or for more information, please visit: www.heavyreading.com/4glte. For more information on all Insider services, please visit www.heavyreading.com/research.

To request a free executive summary of the report, or for details on multi-user licensing options, please contact:

David Williams
Global Director of Sales, Research
Heavy Reading

Press/analyst contact:
Dennis Mendyk
Vice President of Research, Heavy Reading

About Heavy Reading
Heavy Reading (www.heavyreading.com), the research division of Light Reading, offers deep analysis of emerging telecom trends to network operators, technology suppliers, and investors. Its product portfolio includes in-depth reports that address critical next-generation technology and service issues, market trackers that focus on the telecom industry's most critical technology sectors, exclusive worldwide surveys of network operator decision-makers that identify future purchasing and deployment plans, and a rich array of custom and consulting services that give clients the market intelligence needed to compete successfully in the global telecom industry.

About Light Reading?
Light Reading (www.lightreading.com) combines its research-led online communities and targeted events portfolio to help those in the global communications industry make informed decisions. Lightreading.com is the ultimate source for telecom analysis for more than 350,000 subscribers each month, leading the media sector in terms of traffic, content, and reputation. Light Reading produces targeted communications events and focused one-day conferences each year for cable, mobile, and wireline executives across five continents.

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SOURCE Heavy Reading