Earlier this month South Africa’s Internet Solutions (IS) selected Dublin-based vendor Accuris to deliver the platform for seamless, managed Wi-Fi services across IS’s formidable African network footprint. You can read the full press release here.
So will this be a boost for Wi-Fi everywhere for everyone in Africa? We think yes – and here’s why.
Wi-Fi service management is key to growth
Setting up a string of APs is one thing – turning this into a professional, carrier-grade (or enterprise-grade) service is something else. Service management platforms (like those of Accuris and others) allow service providers to create authentication schemes & use sophisticated monetization methods, such as advertising & analytics (and payments).
Wi-Fi users will experience much higher service quality through a consistent experience when registering, logging on to the service, and using the service.
Laying the groundwork for Wi-Fi Offload
It’s well known that Wi-Fi infrastructure costs as little as one-tenth or one-fifth of mobile networks (depending on how you do the math). Using low-cost Wi-Fi capacity is an excellent way for mobile operators in the region to keep expanding mobile capacity to reach more subscribers with more data.
This type of service management also allows mobile devices to connect to Wi-Fi networks with no user interaction, i.e. with a seamless transition from mobile to Wi-Fi whenever they’re in range of a capable Wi-Fi service.
Here’s good advice from those of us who have been around the Wi-Fi industry for a while: You need to use all the tricks of the trade to be a successful Wi-Fi service provider. That includes offload, enterprise solutions, SMB solutions, public-private partnership models, and more. The key to getting this right is to deploy infrastructure that effectively deals with all of the above from a single platform.
And that’s exactly what IS and Accuris are doing with the new pan-African managed Wi-Fi service.