Expect Wi-Fi offloading by cellular operators – VAST
VAST Networks anticipates that at least two mobile operators will incorporate Wi-Fi into their service offerings through GSM offloading in 2018. VAST is an open-access Wi-Fi network infrastructure provider, delivering carrier-grade Wi-Fi. VAST CEO Grant Marais said Wi-Fi offloading makes it possible for mobile users to walk into a mall and automatically switch from their cellular network to Wi-Fi with no disruption.
“This will yield a better consumer experience and make more efficient use of spectrum,” said Marais. VAST is well positioned to provide South African mobile operators with Wi-Fi offloading, thanks to its extensive Wi-Fi network. “In 2017, we doubled our footprint and we hope to continue growing our presence in 2018.”
Wi-Fi connectivity also offers an alternative to cellular data, especially in controlled areas like business campuses and shopping centres.
Marais said they have seen a strong trend in the availability of campus Wi-Fi to employees at office parks, through managed networks. “We therefore expect to see more businesses introduce such access to employees by wholly outsourcing the network to providers such as VAST,” he said. This benefits employees and also enables seamless access at public locations that utilise VAST Wi-Fi.
Marais said they are able to extend these networks off campus for multiple uses, mobility workers, staff benefit, or even a wide disaster recovery solution.
Another significant development is the use of Wi-Fi as business intelligence tool for the hospitality and tourism industry, rather than just a free guest service.
“VAST Networks has contributed greatly to this shift, helping establishments make more informed decisions in order to deliver a better guest experience,” said Marais.