By Claus Hetting, Wi-Fi NOW CEO & President
One of the world’s leading Wi-Fi service management platform vendors – Aptilo Networks of Sweden – says the key to monetizing managed Wi-Fi is what they call the ‘Virtual Service Provider’ (Virtual SP) concept. The company has already delivered their new Virtual SP functionality to a Tier 1 operator.
How do you evolve Wi-Fi from a simple amenity to a managed, monetizable service? One of the world’s leading Wi-Fi service management vendors – Aptilo Networks – says their ‘Virtual Service Provider’ (Virtual SP) concept is key. The platform allows telcos to turn their business clients such as apartment (MDU) owners and co-working office spaces into virtual service providers, Aptilo says.
The platform is business critical for telcos to increase revenues and capitalise on a new surge in Wi-Fi industry growth, says Johan Terve, VP Marketing at Aptilo Networks. “Wi-Fi will continue to strengthen its position as the world’s preferred indoor data service. The question for operators is this: How do you turn this trend into revenue growth? We believe we have the answer,” Johan Terve says.
Serving multiple end-customers on a single infrastructure
The key to low cost provisioning and management of enterprise Wi-Fi for a large number of customers is efficiency and hence low cost, Aptilo says. A good example of a use case with many stakeholders is a co-working office space, says Johan Terve. “These types of venues require serving perhaps many dozens of tenants, companies renting office space, and each of these in turn need internal Wi-Fi access as well as connected printers, security cameras, and more,” he says.
The Virtual SP scheme allows an operator to deliver multiple corporate IT-services on the same LAN infrastructure with a single Wi-Fi SSID serving every tenant at the venue. The operator’s management costs are reduced because the venue owner – as the Virtual SP – takes care of daily admin tasks.
“Owners – in this case the co-working office space owner often serving many physical locations – can then map each tenant to a virtual network (VLAN) and tenants can handle their own users. This means that an operator’s business customers can serve as channels to sell more managed IT-services to end-users. Low management costs and great scalability, these are key components of a profitable managed Wi-Fi service,” Johan Terve says.
Vendor-agnostic approach ‘pays for itself’, Aptilo says
The Virtual SP platform can host thousands of business customers and work regardless of the operator’s choice of Wi-Fi equipment supplier. Keeping Wi-Fi service management platforms vendor agnostic is important because many operators prefer to adopt competitive multi-supplier strategies to help reduce equipment costs, Aptilo says.
“Our platform is normally less than 10% of the total investment in a carrier Wi-Fi service. Many times it can easily pay for itself by allowing operators to have a multi-vendor strategy,” Johan Terve says.
Managed enterprise Wi-Fi trending among cablecos
And while Aptilo is expanding their portfolio to serve more operators better, managed Wi-Fi is trending as an important new service opportunity. In May of this year US cableco giant Comcast acquired managed Wi-Fi company Deep Blue Communications. In response cableco competitor Altice launched their managed SMB Wi-Fi service within the same month.
Aptilo Networks’ Virtual SP solution recently won the 2019 Wireless Broadband Alliance industry award for Best Wi-Fi Network Technology.
For more details note this: Aptilo will be hosting a webinar on Virtual SP solution on Wednesday October 23. Sign up for the morning session at 9am CEST (Stockholm) time or the afternoon session at 6pm CEST.