We at Devicescape encounter many questions about our solution and more specifically our Curated Virtual Network of public WiFi hotspots. It’s understandable given the fact that WiFi offload is a relatively new solution for the wireless industry. And from a consumer perspective, the understanding of WiFi is rather limited in scope. Most people tend to think that WiFi is only available at work or in your home or in selected establishments like coffee shops and universities. That is only the tip of the iceberg. It’s everywhere.
After attending many tradeshows and conferences related to WiFi and the telecom industry as well as participating in many media inquiries, I believe the most common question asked to Devicescape is, “How do you collect and assemble the WiFi in your network?” And of course the follow up question is always along the lines of “Are you inappropriately using someone else’s WiFi connection?”
Believe it or not, the second question is the easier one to answer and that is “No”. We are not inappropriately using or stealing anybody’s WiFi. All the WiFi in our CVN is public and free which by definition is meant for the public consumption. Although we can identify tens of millions of access points including home or other private networks, our patented technology allows us to discriminate between hotspots that are public and intentionally open for sharing and those that aren’t. No need to worry about your home WiFi network being used inappropriately. We make it a point not to include that in our CVN.
And for all of you wondering if it’s ok to leverage a retailer’s WiFi network, we believe that the retailer wants their network to be used. It’s there as a value-add to its customers. Whether it’s used to bring people in the door or used to communicate information or offers, it’s meant for everybody that engages with them. And frankly, if you’re connecting to a retailer’s WiFi, it’s reasonable to believe that you’re in WiFi range because you have business to be at that particular location.
Who is to benefit from Devicescape’s WiFi offload solution? Everyone benefits from it. Let me break it down for you:
Hotspot Owners (retailers, municipal, universities, libraries etc.) – The owners of public hotspots benefit because they can capitalize on the business and traffic that offering free WiFi provides. For example, a coffee shop that offers WiFi to its customers does so to bring them in the door, order food and beverages and gives them a reason to stay with the opportunity to order more items. It’s a value-add resource and something that’s meant to be used by everyone.
Consumer – You get constant connectivity most places you go. As a society, we are all tied to our mobile device. Internet connectivity is fast becoming a necessity for most. For those of us that have smartphones, we have our expensive data plans that we use up. What if WiFi can offset the use of the cellular data plan and save you money? What if WiFi can provide you with some connectivity where a cellular connection is weak? What if you’re outside of your carrier’s coverage area and you need data connectivity but are worried about incurring high roaming costs? Free public WiFi can offer all these things to you with no cost and minimal effort. Devicescape’s WiFi solution not only provides a curated network, the software automatically and easily connects a user to a high-quality hotspot.
Mobile Carriers – When a wireless operator contracts with Devicescape, they don’t just get access to millions of hotspots, they get access to high quality, hotspots that are curated using our patented technology solution. The operator is then able to incorporate their policy and QoS requirements and can begin leveraging the network. Operators can then connect to these hotspots in the CVN to offload data traffic from their cellular network onto this virtual network of free public WiFi. This translates to improved quality of service by relieving data congestion on their own networks and more importantly saving millions of dollars in capital and operating expenditures.
Devicescape – Since our business is mainly with the mobile operators, we provide them with an industry leading solution that costs relatively little and easy to deploy in a short timeframe. That means cost savings all around and potential business for the hotspot owners.
We understand that people will always have questions about how we operate our business and discover WiFi hotspots. But no matter what, Devicescape ensures quality connectivity without compromising any ethical or legal issues. In short, we don’t steal WiFi nor do we engage in any activity that is questionable.
Public WiFi is for the masses. Devicescape just makes it easier for everyone to connect to it. We save millions of dollars for the mobile operators. And we indirectly help hotspot owners bring business and traffic through its doors by connecting them to their customers or users.