Wi-Fi First, Project Salsa, and how Carriers are using Wi-Fi – Wi-Fi Now Episode 4

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    Wi-Fi Now

    Is Wi-Fi First the access model of the future? David Morken, CEO of Bandwidth (Republic Wireless) realized back in 2011 that Wi-Fi was everywhere already – and decided to launch Republic Wireless, the original Wi-Fi First service provider.
    Today, Republic Wireless customers pay an average of $14.78 per month for their mobile plans – way lower than the $100 or more that most US consumers pay to the big carriers. Developing the technology to support Wi-Fi calling and cellular-to-Wi-Fi two-way handoffs has been an incremental process, says David. But it’s getting better all the time.
    Fredrik Jungermann of Tefficient has studied how carriers across the world are using Wi-Fi to boost their business. One observation is this: Offering Wi-Fi in whatever form and simply using the word ‘Wi-Fi’ tends to produce retention value. Consumers like it – it’s that popular. Fredrik brings up a couple of great cases including Singtel of Singapore. They’re actually charging a (small) premium for a bundle that includes Wi-Fi. And there’s strong evidence that Telenet (Belgium) subscribers actually offload a lot of traffic to community Wi-Fi or ‘homespots’.
    Finally: David Morken & I hatch a plan to introduce WiFi-L: Wi-Fi in the licensed bands! We’ve not told Verizon yet, though. Join us next week for the low-down on ‘LTE/Wi-Fi Aggregation’ (LWA) with Qualcomm – and we’ll pick apart what Google Project Fi is doing with the help of Nicholas Armstrong of Pravala.
    Stuck in traffic or videos blocked at work? Listen to the episode in podcast form here:
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