The internet revolution has created tremendous demand for internet experience for the users. Users are increasingly bringing their internet on the go. Today, Wi-Fi is embedded in virtually every mobile Internet device and common hotspot services have formed to fill the gap in ensuring effective coverage for today’s service providers worldwide that offer smartphones. In a recent report by Cisco, wired devices will account for 46% of IP traffic, while Wi-Fi and mobile devices will account for 54% of IP traffic by 2015.
Even as cellular networks are evolving from today's 3G technology to LTE that brings promise of capacity leaps (by account of nearly 4 times), the overall data traffic projection is expected to increase by an annual CAGR of 32% from 2010 to 2015; outpacing LTE network deployments. LTE networks will fill up very quickly. Until then, network operators have to cope with the consumption of over the top wireless broadband service.
The following sections of this paper present a deep dive into the impact of Wi-Fi deployment for operators looking into data offloading and the best practices to emulate. Wi-Fi as we know is vendor neutral and cost effective alternative to operators building high bandwidth data networks which do not suffer from licensing constraints. Wi-Fi as a complementary technology can help ease traffic by 20% with substantial impact of freeing up spectrum. Leveraging this, cellular operators have emerged competitively in the video market share (against cable based operations) by increasingly rolling out IPTV services to its broadband service to remain relevant in the digital age and differentiating their service. By delivering multiple service bundles of voice, data, video, contents similar to quad-play can create “stickiness” and improve the overall user experience. Additionally, key aspect of Wi-Fi offloading and adoption in business models are discussed.