Tata Communications said that it has launched Wi-Fi+, a new Wi-Fi cloud communication solution, which enables mobile network operators’ customers to access the internet for calling, messaging, and data applications more seamlessly than ever. Through access to more than 21 million Wi-Fi hotspots globally, the new solution allows mobile network operators to offer their customers a high-quality mobile experience – whether at home or abroad – and generate additional revenues from Wi-Fi services.
Costing just a few dollars per month per user to mobile network operators, Wi-Fi+ enables mobile network operators to bring their customers unlimited calling, messaging and data over high-quality, secure Wi-Fi. The company said that the service harnesses Tata Communications’ Cloud RTC expertise and iPass’s more than 21 million Wi-Fi hotspots in more than 100 countries, creating a huge meshed network of borderless, global connectivity.
It requires users to log in just once – after this, they are automatically connected to the closest participating Wi-Fi hotspot, even if they travel to a different city, country or continent.
“Wi-Fi+ marks the next step on our mission to enable truly seamless mobile communications on a global scale,” said Christian Michaud, Senior Vice President of Strategy, Product and Business Development at Tata Communications’ Service Provider Group.
“To date, the high cost of mobile data has put people off from using high-bandwidth applications such as video calling and music streaming services while on the move. And when travelling abroad, many users avoid making calls and texting too – resulting in lost revenues for MNOs. Our new solution tackles this issue head-on.
The company said that the new solution open ups new revenue streams for MNOs without CAPEX investment, and allows users to keep in touch through voice, messaging and video, or even stream music – without fear of bill shock, both at home and abroad.
Today, MNOs are losing roaming revenues from silent roamers, with around half choosing to cut down on making calls (53%) sending texts (43%) and using data (45%) abroad for fear of bill shock. Video calling is also growing in popularity amongst younger generations, with approximately a third (30%) of teenagers in Brazil, India, Japan, South Korea, the UK and the US now making video calls on a daily basis.
And, while twice as many smartphone users make voice calls indoors than outdoors, the lack of indoor cellular coverage means that only a third of users are happy with their voice call quality and reliability.
Wi-Fi+ enables MNOs to offer their customers access to high quality Wi-Fi connectivity with no upfront investment, whilst at the same time growing their revenues through extended OTT services, including Wi-Fi calling and messaging.