Last week’s announcement of AT&T buying long term partner Wayport for $275 million cash illustrates the increased strategic role of Wi-Fi for service providers as they push out media-centric services to users. With today’s robust Smartphone market and increasing consumer data usage, carriers are looking for way to offset huge cellular investments and pushing out longer term 4G deployments like LTE and WiMax. Wi-Fi can provide excellent coverage indoors and in congested areas as a complement to cellular, at a lower cost of carriage. Moreover, Wi-Fi provides a high-performance, low cost network connection for many different types of device and applications.
Much like the AT&T acquisition is a solid proof point to the co-existence of 3G and Wi-Fi, Devicescape has also experienced increasing consumer and OEM demand for Wi-Fi on handsets. As more and more service providers embrace Wi-Fi in their strategies, the requirements are flowing down to handset vendors to integrate Wi-Fi and supply devices with both types of radios. Importantly, the Wi-Fi has to be extremely easy to use and integrate tightly with the operators networks, as well as the traditional Wi-Fi locations of home and office.
This is all happening at a great time for Devicescape! Our Easy Wi-Fi for the iPhone has been available for a few weeks at the iTunes App Store, and is generating a lot of interest among service providers and handset vendors. The application has held the number 1 position for several weeks as the most popular paid Wi-Fi application at the store. We’re seeing demand for versions of Easy Wi-Fi which integrate with one operator network exclusively, simplifying use for those users who only care about fast access to one network.