How Guest Wi-Fi Boosts Bottom Lines of Service providers and Their SMB Customers



Global trends for service providers show stagnant revenues and declining margins while Over-the-Top (OTT) players are growing their share of the pie. To remain relevant and profitable, service providers must provide solutions to their end-customers especially small and medium businesses (SMBs) that provide them a real competitive, business advantage. Guest Wi-Fi is on the rise and a service increasingly valued by SMBs in all sectors, from retail to restaurants.  With guest Wi-Fi, service providers have the opportunity to generate significant revenues and margins by leveraging the possibilities offered by OTT services.

A challenging environment for service providers

Service providers everywhere are facing intensifying competition in broadband, voice and mobile, as well as in video delivery of every kind. As broadband markets saturate, the service provider’ survival increasingly depends on being able to adapt their business models and add new services to generate value.

In this challenging context, service providers must fight back and find a way to strengthen their market position by offering more relevant and innovative services to their broadband customers, especially the small and medium businesses who have traditionally been neglected in favor of larger enterprise customers.

Give SMB Customers What They Want

SMBs have their own set of challenges. SMBs are being increasingly squeezed by online commerce giants and are pressured to continuously adapt to the fast changing needs of sophisticated and always-connected shoppers. In order to retain existing customers and attract new ones, they must rethink the in-store shopping experience to embrace and integrate online components. Even when making purchases in physical stores, shoppers still want online convenience and access.

The Business Benefits of Guest Wi-Fi for SMBs

Guest Wi-Fi service helps SMBs remain relevant to their customers who are increasingly informed and sophisticated.  By offering their own customers in-store Wi-Fi connectivity engagement, SMBs can:

  • Build their brand. SMBs want to provide their customers an easy-to-use, branded welcome portal to the Internet, which also makes onboarding an instant and positive experience.
  • Grow their business. Guest Wi-Fi brings SMBs the marketing and customer engagement capabilities to stay relevant in the digital economy.
  • Understand and target consumers. Services from Guest Wi-Fi enable SMBs to better understand customer behavior, such as store visits, length of visits, retention rate, and so on.

Who will supply SMBs with the right Guest Wi-Fi Service?

Ideally, they will buy guest Wi-Fi from a service provider that they already know to be trustworthy, competent, and professional, and who has their business interests at heart. Like their trusted broadband operator.

The traditional service providers do have cards to play – massive customer reach; control of the best quality public networks; deep knowledge of subscribers’ behavior; expertise in managing large numbers of devices and users and in billing; the deep customer relationship that comes with a carrier bill.

The benefits for  Service providers

So far, guest Wi-Fi technology providers have often targeted SMBs directly, rather than providing a white label solution to service providers. Service providers can quickly deploy and monetize guest Wi-Fi with an OTT services platform which they can sell on top of their existing services or expand to new markets. As a result, guest Wi-Fi can drive new revenues to service providers in many ways, including:

  • Opening a New Dialog with the SMB Customer – Guest Wi-Fi is something all prospects understand and is an easy solution for sales teams to learn and communicate to prospects. The cross-selling, upselling, and down-selling opportunities with guest Wi-Fi are extensive.
  • Retaining the SMB Customer Base – By empowering SMB customers with the marketing and customer engagement capabilities they need to stay relevant, guest Wi-Fi helps service providers attract and retain SMBs.
  • Expanding the SMB Customer Base – By leveraging guest Wi-Fi OTT architecture, service providers can overlay this cloud-based service to any SMB with broadband Internet. For service providers with heterogeneous network platforms, this is an ideal solution.
  • Delivering Tiered Program Packages for SMBs’ Specific Needs – Guest Wi-Fi lets service providers deliver various levels of offerings, but can also give flexibility to the SMB, letting them select their own service packages.

Now is the Time for Guest Wi-Fi

In a nutshell, service providers have now a huge business opportunity to offer guest Wi-Fi to SMBs in retail, hospitality, and any other sector where customers want onsite, physical interaction with the items they are buying. With guest Wi-Fi, service providers have the opportunity to generate significant revenues and margins by leveraging the possibilities offered by OTT services.

Maravedis and 4G 360 provide leading market research and content marketing for the wireless industry.


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Mr. Fellah, is a Senior Analyst and founder of Maravedis with 20-year experience in the wireless industry. He authored various landmark reports on Wi-Fi, LTE, 4G and technology trends in various industries including retail, restaurant and hospitality. He is regularly asked to speak at leading wireless and marketing events and to contribute to various influential portals and magazines such as RCR Wireless, 4G 360, Rethink Wireless, The Mobile Network, Telecom Reseller to name a few. He is a Certified Wireless Network Administrator (CWNA) and Certified Wireless Technology Specialist (CWTS).


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