It's a Hotel Wi-Fi Free-For-All

Posted on February 19, 2015

Google “meaning of life” and you get 408 million search results. Google “free hotel Wi-Fi” and you get 645 million. Clearly hotel Wi-Fi is important to a lot of people. Studies into its availability and quality abound, catering to an international clientele that increasingly factors Wi-Fi into its choice of hotel. Specialist websites name and shame the hotels that fall short, crowd-sourcing performance data from guests all over the world. Consumer money-saving sites urge holidaymakers to seek out the hotels that get them online for free, and journalists in the financial press rail against the hotel Wi-Fi charges they encounter, reflecting a common irritation for their globe-trotting readership. Indeed cost is by far the biggest issue associated with hotel Wi-Fi, affecting everyone from backpackers to business travelers. Smaller hotel chains and independent players have been offering free Wi-Fi for some time; it is the large incumbents that have been reluctant to do so. Hotels have to pay to provide it, they have argued, so they are entitled to their surcharge. But hotels are greatly outnumbered by their guests, and those guests are delivering their judgement at volume and en masse: Wi-Fi should be free. A study by last year found that free Wi-Fi was the most desirable in-room…

Posted on February 21, 2014

Devicescape is excited to showcase it’s engagement services at Mobile World Congress 2014. Accessed through any of the over 20 million hotspots that make up Devicescape’s CVN, Popwifi aims to better connect individuals with the places they frequent most and gives them the ability to share what they love about a particular place with anyone else in their community. Through Popwifi, end-users can automatically and seamlessly connect to the best nearby wifi network to surf the web as they please while also get the ability to rate and review these businesses. To learn more about Popwifi’s benefits to both venue’s and end-users, visit the Popwifi Venue Experience Manager and Popwifi Customer Experience sections of our website. If you can’t make it to our booth at MWC, and you want to see all this in action, please view our brand new video below:  

Is mobile privacy an issue for you while shopping at your local retailer?

Posted on November 29, 2011

That sounds like a loaded question doesn’t it.  By hearing that question out of context, one would most likely answer yes.  Now let me bring it into context.  A recent CNN article reported two malls in the US are axing programs that would track and survey shoppers in their venues through their mobile phones.  The creators of the technology iterate that personal data like name or phone number aren’t captured.  What are tracked though are movements which could be used to analyze shopping patterns and any other qualitative information such as survey answers which can also be collected. Now assuming your data is anonymized, would you still be ok with a retailer tracking and communicating with you?  What if through these mobile means, you would be able to receive in-store coupons or incentives?  What if the opt-in/opt-out process were more obvious?  If the privacy concerns are eased, wouldn’t these incentives add value to the customer shopping experience? The proprietors of this mobile technology, Path Intelligence, compare it to online retail tracking.  Online retailers are able to track customer habits, purchases and the overall user experience while still protecting the privacy of their consumers.  By this rationale, it seems to make…

Wi-Fi’s Impact on M-commerce

Posted on November 23, 2011

The holidays are almost here and Black Friday, a retail phenomenon during the holiday season, signifies the kickoff of retail madness.  That day is slowly being overshadowed by Cyber Monday, the following Monday where retailers are encouraging customers to shop online.  As stores are trying to find other selling channels and methods to attract customers, mobile commerce is soon becoming relevant to the retail industry. Now where does Wi-Fi fit in all of this?  Wi-Fi has already been a common staple in coffee shops and various eating establishments.  In fact, whenever one walks into a Starbucks or McDonalds, it’s almost expected to see someone browsing the internet on their laptop, tablet or smartphone.  Scanning the 5 million global hotspots in the Devicescape Virtual Network, I can see that’s it’s more than just coffee shops or fast food restaurants.    I’m surprised to learn that retailers like Home Depot, Macy’s and Safeway are constantly showing up in the network. So what does this mean?  It means that Wi-Fi is more pervasive that we think.  It means that it’s not just in your home or at some select store.  It means that retailers are giving access to their Wi-Fi network to add customer…

Devicescape releases the Q3 2011 Wi-Fi Report

Posted on November 22, 2011

Chalk it up as another banner quarter for Devicescape.  On the heels of growing to over 4 million hotspots globally, Devicescape just released its Q3 2011 Wi-Fi report.  What’s interesting about this quarter’s report is that I’m seeing some wavering in service provider loyalty.  Being a long-time Verizon Wireless subscriber myself, I assumed that most people were like me and would be resistant to carrier switching.  Unless of course it’s a hardware matter such as getting an iPhone but that has become irrelevant since Verizon now carries that smartphone. Data capping has become more and more of a subscriber concern over the last year with major carriers announcing intentions to get rid of unlimited data plans.  Although the reality is that most people don’t come close to the proposed plan caps, the idea of taking away consumer value from their plans is perceived as a hit to the consumer experience.  In the Devicescape report, 88% of respondents said that unlimited data plan offers would sway purchasing decisions.  If the mobile operators want to avoid carrier switching, they better come up with some solutions and educate their subscribers.  Data usage is only going to increase over time as rich content such…

The State of WiFi beyond 2015

Posted on November 11, 2011

I’m sure many of you have heard that the World Broadband Alliance just released their report titled “Global Developments in Public Wi-Fi”.  If you haven’t seen the report, you may have read one of the many articles that cite its many statistics.  The most significant statistic that’s been brought to our attention is the projected number of hotspots by 2015.  WBA projects 5.8 million hotspots. (We at Devicescape can confidently say there are significantly more but that’s a whole different discussion).  The point being is that WiFi is pervasive.  We all expected that though. Blogger Kevin Sandlin on the CWNP blog  poses an interesting question.  What will the state of WiFi be like beyond 2015?  He cites the WBA report, a Cisco report on their Networking Index and Forecasts, and IDC data.  In my view he doesn’t make any bold predictions but he does point out something interesting. From the Cisco report, he states that by 2015, WiFi will consume 37.2 exabytes of data versus 37 exabytes for wired and 6 exabytes for cellular.  The traffic over WiFi is 6x that of cellular.  So “mobility” as we know it today will really just be WiFi down the road. I think…