Mobile Operators Embracing Wi-Fi?

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Lynette Luna’s latest article for Fierce Broadband Wireless reviews how mobile operators are finally embracing Wi-Fi. But she wants to know: how far will they go to actually encourage consumers to use Wi-Fi? Boingo’s CEO, Dave Hagan, weighs in.

“Indeed, [Dennis] Whiteside [AT&T assistant vice president for consumer markets] said AT&T benefits from owning hotspots and offering WiFi for free to smartphone users on a number of fronts: network savings, customer retention and value for the hotspot venue owners.

Dave Hagan, CEO with hotspot aggregator Boingo, said the same can be said for operators partnering with aggregators. The company’s usage trends at its airport hotspots revealed earlier this year that about a quarter of all connections from January to May were mobile devices. Eighty-nine percent of those users were iPhone users. Moreover, Boingo mobile users are consuming an average of 114 MB of data over WiFi per month, Hagan said.

“And that’s not data going through the cellular network,” Hagan said. “I bounced that number off several different carriers, and they agree. If you extrapolate that number, subscribers are consuming 400 to 500 MB per month on the cellular network. That is an enormous amount of data. Right now it’s really about iPhone users, but soon Android, Nokia and BlackBerry users are going to consume more. WiFi is a way to offload traffic and create a great user experience .”

You can enjoy the rest of Luna’s article here.

About Melody Demel

Melody is Senior Manager, PR for Boingo Wireless, where she is responsible for media relations, brand building and thought leadership initiatives. Melody is a die-hard Nebraska Cornhuskers fan and retired NCAA DI college field hockey player.
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