& cplSiteName &

Cloud4Wi Wants to Own Managed WiFi

Mari Silbey
10/3/2016
50%
50%

As the managed WiFi services market continues to heat up, San Francisco-based Cloud4Wi is expanding from the enterprise space into the service provider channel with a new offering called VolareXP. That announcement alone isn't remarkable, but combined with the company's existing customer base and the history of both its CEO and its president, the news is enough to put Cloud4Wi on the WiFi vendor watch list.

For starters, Cloud4Wi already claims close to 60 million users worldwide, with enterprise customers that range from Armani to Olive Garden and McDonald's. Equally interesting, however, is the previous experience of its top leaders, both of whom have roots in telecom. CEO Andrea Calcagno did a stint with Telecom Italia SpA (NYSE: TI) and President Jeff Abramowitz was the founder of WiFi startup company PowerCloud Systems, which sold to Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) in 2014 and is now used in the cable company's residential WiFi services. (See Comcast Sweeps Up PowerCloud and Comcast Plans Voice-Control Hub – Report .)

The new VolareXP product is an over-the-top WiFi platform for network operators serving small and midsized businesses. It's designed to make it easier for SMB companies to offer guest WiFi services and to promote their own products while doing so. Features include a simplified WiFi sign-in process, opt-in customer data collection, the ability to create a branded welcome page, the ability to offer coupons and encourage social media reviews and more.

If that sounds like what Comcast delivers with its WiFi Pro service, it is. And no, Cloud4Wi isn't behind WiFi Pro even though Abramowitz's PowerCloud technology is incorporated in Comcast's residential products. (See Comcast WiFi for Business Goes Live.)

However, Cloud4Wi does have some initial service provider clients on its roster, including Telecom Italia; former employer to Calcagno; and Fastweb SpA (Milan: FWB), another Italian ISP.

Abramowitz also believes Cloud4Wi is one of the only managed WiFi service vendors to offer a carrier-grade solution.


Want to know more about cable's wireless ambitions? Check out our cable WiFi channel
here on Light Reading.


"This is where the heritage of Cloud4Wi really makes a huge difference," says Abramowitz. "The platform was originally designed to be carrier-grade. We've demonstrated that it is carrier-grade. We've got somewhere close to 60 million users that use the system at this point, and tens of thousands of locations in 80 plus countries."

Cloud4Wi has dealt with all of the privacy, regulatory and security issues across those geographies, he adds.

"And so we know the service provider's going to look at this platform and say 'It's easy to get a reference on it, it's easy to see how I can be confident rolling it out, and by the way it's relatively low-cost and low-maintenance to roll this out. Why don't I just do it?'," he comments. "So we've got tremendous scale advantage and time-to-market advantage."

Abramowitz sees massive opportunity for Cloud4Wi's OTT platform not only in offering guest WiFi services, but also for enabling additional WiFi applications in the future. For example, as US cable companies contemplate new WiFi-first mobile services, Cloud4Wi could sell itself as a management platform for WiFi-powered voice calling as well. (See Comcast Will Go Wireless in 2017 and Charter Will Activate Verizon MVNO Deal.)

In the meantime, Abramowitz is convinced that there is a short six- to 12-month window during which many service providers will select their technology partners for managed guest WiFi offerings. Comcast has already launched its solution for business customers, but many others haven't, and Cloud4Wi plans to be there when they do.

— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
msilbey
50%
50%
msilbey,
User Rank: Blogger
10/4/2016 | 9:15:06 AM
Re: Fast turnaround
I agree entirely. Honestly I was surprised not to see more buy-up activity around WiFi in 2016. Course, it's not over yet.
inkstainedwretch
50%
50%
inkstainedwretch,
User Rank: Light Sabre
10/3/2016 | 6:28:03 PM
Fast turnaround
This sounds like yet another company that's found yet another niche that requires a startup to exploit and grow until the big boys decide to get in -- by buying the startup. That's an entirely valid way to get things done.

-- Brian Santo

 
From The Founder
Kicking off BCE 2017, Light Reading founder Steve Saunders lays blame for NFV's slow ramp-up and urges telecom to return to old-fashioned standards building and interoperability.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Interviews
Masergy: It's Time for SD-WAN Options

6|28|17   |   03:09   |   (0) comments


Paul Ruelas, director of network products for Masergy, explains how adding SD-WAN has changed the service mix for his company's customers. In some cases, the change is incremental, enabling more granular customer control. Masergy's newest version, SD-WAN Go, gives up some of those controls for a streamlined version targeting mid-sized customers with the most ...
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Intel Ushers in the Revolutionary 5G Era

6|28|17   |   5:00   |   (1) comment


5G will bring job opportunities for women in telco and IT, as well as a whole new era of communications for consumers and industries of all kinds, says Caroline Chan, vice president and general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division at Intel.
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX at ANGA COM

6|27|17   |     |   (0) comments


At ANGA COM 2017, Cyrille Morelle, president and CEO of VeEX, updates Alan Breznick with VeEX's new products and technology. This includes VeSion cloud-based platform for network monitoring, AT2500-3G advanced spectrum analyzer and MTTplus-900 WiFi Air Expert module. He also comments on DOCSIS 3.1 deployment and Remote PHY technology.
LRTV Custom TV
The Overall Objective Is to Win the Game

6|26|17   |     |   (0) comments


SCTE•ISBE's Chris Bastian discusses Energy 2020's success to date and the importance of a flexible approach that allows for changes in specific strategies in order to reach significant milestones.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink: Let's Get Past SD-WAN Hype

6|23|17   |   04:02   |   (0) comments


Technology becomes a "shiny object" unless it's properly focused on solving business needs for enterprise customers, says Bill Grubbs, network solutions architect for CenturyLink. He explains to Light Reading why SD-WAN deployments have to be tailored to specific needs – and more.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Infinera's Sales Director Paints Tech's Big Picture

6|21|17   |   4:14   |   (1) comment


Shannon Williams, Infinera's director of sales, shares how she achieves work's many balancing acts -- between her role and the broader company, today and tomorrow's tech and more.
LRTV Custom TV
SD-WAN Innovation & Trends

6|20|17   |     |   (0) comments


Versa CEO Kelly Ahuja discusses with Carol Wilson the current status and trends in the SD-WAN market, Versa's innovation around building a software platform with broad contextualization, and the advantages that startups can bring to the SD-WAN market.
LRTV Interviews
Ovum's Dario Talmesio on 5G in Europe

6|20|17   |   02:16   |   (0) comments


At 5G World 2017, Dario Talmesio, principal analyst and practice leader on Ovum's fixed and mobile telecoms European team, explains the emerging trends amongst European operators as they prepare for 5G.
LRTV Custom TV
Putting Power on a Pedestal

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


ARRIS's John Ulm says a major accomplishment of SCTE•ISBE's Energy 2020 program is increased focus on power cost and consumption, including inclusion of energy requirements in operators' RFPs and RFIs.
LRTV Custom TV
Gigabit Access: The Last-Mile Pipe for All Future Services

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


A Gigabit access platform being deployed today must be able to deliver all types of services to an increasing number of devices. A non-blocking architecture is necessary to support the ever-increasing growth in bandwidth demand. The Huawei Gigabit access solution is based on a distributed design that is fully scalable to deliver a unprecedented performance.
LRTV Custom TV
Key Factors to Successfully Deploy an SD-WAN Service

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


As service providers transition their SD-WAN solution from trials and limited deployments into production at large scale, there are important considerations to successfully operationalize these solutions and realize their full potential, without adding complexity, introducing uncertainty or disrupting current business operations. Sunil Khandekar, CEO and Founder ...
LRTV Custom TV
IoT Solutions: Rational Exuberance

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


IoT solutions are morphing from hype into viable business opportunities. Huawei has the platform and ecosystem support to help carriers successfully address new business opportunities in the IoT space.
Upcoming Live Events
October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
No Imagination: UK Chip Biz Goes Up for Sale
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/22/2017
Does AT&T Deserve Time Warner?
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/23/2017
Hulu Is Greatest Threat to Pay-TV Providers – Study
Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation, 6/27/2017
Calix: Russo's Not-So-Overnight Success?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 6/28/2017
Verizon Takes 'One Fiber' to More Cities
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/22/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Following a recent board meeting, the New IP Agency (NIA) has a new strategy to help accelerate the adoption of NFV capabilities, explains the Agency's Founder and Secretary, Steve Saunders.
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.