This past week saw the launch of a plethora of new Apple devices – specifically two new phones which will shoot and edit 4K video as well as a new iPad Pro which sports a massive 5.6 million pixels. Moreover, the phones have 12MP cameras which replace the previous models which had 8 MP. That’s a 50% increase in potential pixels in photos. What this means, is even more demands on wireless broadband networks as these phones hit the market.
This situation presents a challenge as well as an opportunity. The challenge, of course, is dealing with all this data. It is apparent that 4G networks alone won’t handle the load. This is the reason that AT&T purchased WiFi company, Wayport in 2008. Talk about forward looking vision . Still, while having your own WiFi network is quite helpful, you certainly can’t purchase them all.
Enter Accuris Networks, a company with extensive mobile policy management and authentication software… They have taken this expertise and applied it to the integration of WiFi and mobile networks. I spoke with networking and telecom veteran – Steve Shaw, VP Marketing for the company to learn more about the company’s efforts in this area.
He told me the company has data centers in North America and soon will have them in the Middle East and China as well. He went on to explain how AT&T is using the service to stich together a roaming network out of disparate WiFi hotspots with the goal being a homogeneous roaming solution.
You may recall in 2014 I interviewed the company’s Simon O’Donnell about their AccuROAM platform. In addition, TMC covered the news of the AT&T collaboration on its Mobile Market Portal approximately a year ago and said specifically the solution addresses common issues with Wi-Fi roaming, such as the time-intensive process of identifying Wi-Fi providers, negotiation of terms and implementation of Wi-Fi services.
The company has certainly come a long way from the early days. In 2012 In fact, TMC covered the company on the Next Generation Communications Online Community sponsored by Alcatel Lucent – where Carolyn Dawson wrote about Accuris working with Acme Packet. Since that time, Acme has become part of Oracle along with a number of complementary carrier communications companies.
Steve continued to tell me about how WiFi providers are having a challenge getting paid for WiFi as it is often given away for the price of coffee. I chimed in that often you can get free WiFi in exchange for a Facebook like, or a tweet – something which came up in a meeting I had with WiFi solutions provider Airtight Networks last year. I named them one of the five companies to watch this year as you may recall.
This is why it makes sense to partner in this initiative – because you instantly get access to over 100M subscribers who could be roaming on your hotspots.
If you’re a wireless ISP or a carrier looking to do something similar to what AT&T has done – be sure to give Steve a shout out.