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By: Steve Davidson, European Marketing Director for Cable, Alcatel-Lucent
A Wi-Fi first strategy can help multi-system operators (MSOs) remain competitive in the evolving marketplace. Wi-Fi enabled devices default to using the cable operator’s Wi-Fi network for voice, and cellular equipped devices can switch to cellular when out of Wi-Fi range.
Although nuances in the business drivers for adopting such a strategy vary by region globally, this model turns the traditional cellular voice paradigm on its head.
Just like other communications or media industries, MSOs face a dynamic and extremely competitive market. As a result, in EMEA, they have evolved their end-user offerings to embrace market-leading fixed high speed internet access, Wi-Fi connectivity, and bundled mobile cellular services using mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) partnerships.
As the pace of change continues to accelerate, subscribers have made a widespread move to Wi-Fi enabled smartphones and tablets. A European commission study stated that 71% of all EU wireless data traffic in 2012 was delivered to smartphones and tablets using Wi-Fi. This is expected to rise to 78% by 2016.
European MSOs have already invested in Wi-Fi and offer data connectivity services in and out of the home. This not only is a customer retention strategy, but also lets MSOs build out further value added services (VAS) and can reduce data costs of their MVNO agreements. So if we now contemplate the delivery of voice to these Wi-Fi enabled devices, how do we get started?
Existing Mobility Assets
By Ed Elkin, Marketing Director, Advanced Communication Solutions, Alcatel-Lucent
WebRTC is giving apps a voice and operators new revenue opportunities.
I communicate all day long, but it’s always bifurcated between voice and the web. Last December's Consumer Electronics Show, however, showed me these two worlds will soon be merging thanks to a new technology called Web Real Time Communications (WebRTC).
Technically, WebRTC equips a browser with a standardized structure for communications clients, consisting of native functions for audio, video, and data exchange -- and that’s cool for the side of me that enjoys technology. Appealing to my business side, WebRTC is a catalyst for innovation because it reduces the heavy work of interworking clients between devices and browsers, and because it avoids the tedious download and installation of thick, heavy clients. That combination of technical and business niceties explains why fast movers in the industry are excited by WebRTC.