Multi-system operators (MSOs) investing in carrier “Wi-Fi first” deployment strategies outside the home will enable them to compete with mobile network operators (MNOs) for customers — while also saving on mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) partnership arrangements, according to a new study commissioned by XCellAir, a start-up specializing in Wi-Fi Quality of Experience (QoE).
XCellAir’s research shows that bringing the Wi-Fi quality of experience closer to that of cellular networks not only allows MSOs to capture new and retain existing customers “beyond the doorstep,” but will also yield a $4.5bn opportunity across the US market.
This opportunity is comprised of $675m in revenue from additional services — better access to video services means better convergence of voice, mobile, broadband and video content, driving uptake of quad-play services and reducing churn. MSOs could also save $3.8bn in MVNO wholesale charges by moving more traffic onto MSO-owned and controlled Wi-Fi networks.
“MSOs would like ‘cable cutting’ to be a fad that will fade as people get older and value convenience more, but this complacency is a huge risk to their business model,” said Narayan Menon, Founder and CTO, XCellAir. “By creating a Wi-Fi first service that goes beyond the home and matches cellular networks for quality of experience, MSOs have the opportunity to create a service that will underpin retention of their quad-play customers and will attract more.
The analysis by Real Wireless and XCellAir is based on a study of 250 live Wi-Fi access points around its offices in Montreal, Canada, modelling common urban scenarios in which public Wi-Fi is in everyday use. The study revealed the underuse and inefficiencies of standard Wi-Fi technology, and where MSOs would otherwise need to focus efforts to create a carrier-grade network. The savings and opportunities available are based on MSOs with a 5% market share across the USA, over five years.