Over the past few years the term “Wi-Fi offload” has emerged from obscurity to become something of an industry category. In fact, as a market leader in this space, Devicescape originally used a tag-line “the Wi-Fi Offload Company” on our website and marketing materials. While it’s certainly helpful for the industry to rally around a term to help in classification, we’ve found that this offload-centricity is less accurate an indicator of what our customers truly need. With that in mind, we made a big change in the way we describe our solutions, and have moved beyond offload to new and more representative terminology.
Devicescape’s mission is to help operators, and others, integrate Wi-Fi into their overall strategies to drive a set of benefits for their subscribers. These benefits are multi-layered and difficult to fit into a simple descriptor such as offload. Some operators may indeed want to focus on cost savings—by reducing congestion and traffic on their networks, or by reducing roaming expenses—and certainly our Curated Virtual Network (CVN) is a remarkably effective platform to accomplish this. But it’s clear that all operators care about offering a superior service to their subscribers, and that LTE has changed some of the parameters of available capacity and performance. So, we are moving to a new descriptor: welcome to the era of “always best connected” (ABC).
ABC is the scalpel to offload’s blunt knife. Where offload implies taking advantage of Wi-Fi to reduce load on the mobile network, ABC focuses on providing a superior experience for the subscriber, which matches choices the subscriber makes. The decision to utilize a Wi-Fi location—whether part of the operator’s commercial network or via Devicescape’s CVN—is based on an array of choices and policies. Multiple conditions can be considered including the state of the mobile network, capability of the Wi-Fi network, and preferences of the subscriber (e.g. performance vs. cost).
While Wi-Fi offload will surely continue to be used as an industry category and is a completely valid use case, Devicescape is targeting the broader benefits of ABC, with a set of products and services that feature Intelligent Network Selection technology. Moving forward this will be increasingly reflected in our messaging and the focal point for our product roadmap.