Light Reading
Based on initial deployment in North Carolina, Frontier sees a new role for WiFi as part of an SMB service bundle that can be monetized.

Frontier Sees WiFi as SMB Differentiator

Carol Wilson
8/25/2014
50%
50%

After successfully deploying WiFi on a broad scale at the American Tobacco Campus (ATC) in Durham, N.C., Frontier Communications is now taking a different approach to selling the wireless service, focused more on helping its business customers monetize WiFi as part of a larger business strategy and offering tools to help that happen.

Speaking at Adtran Inc. (Nasdaq: ADTN)'s analyst/press event earlier this month, Dennis Bloss, the carrier's VP/GM North Carolina, explained how Frontier Communications Corp. (NYSE: FTR) set up the WiFi system based on Adtran's Blue Socket technology for both the ATC campus and the Durham Bulls' baseball stadium, located with the ATC in the American Tobacco Historic District -- a large downtown entertainment area built where Lucky Strike cigarettes were once produced.

The deployment, which is fed by a 1Gbit/s pipe into Frontier's core network, provides managed WiFi access for the public spaces of the district, as well as pervasive WiFi coverage of the Bulls' stadium that lets virtually all of the potential 9,000 spectators be online at once.

It faced multiple engineering challenges -- namely, avoiding interference with as many as 75 businesses using their own WiFi networks at the edge of the ATC, and making sure not to become a free source of access for the businesses in an on-campus incubator.

The latter requirement means constantly monitoring the systems to detect persistent activity by a single user, and then responding by either shutting down that user or, more likely, just slowing down the access to make it less attractive, Bloss said. By providing that level of service, as well as technical support through Adtran's ProCloud service, Frontier is delivering more of a business WiFi product.


Read more about carrier WiFi strategies on the carrier WiFi section of our mobile site, where we look at both carrier and vendor news.


Frontier is now looking at how WiFi can be bundled with other managed services, for example as part of an Ethernet service package, so that smaller businesses can use WiFi connectivity to enhance their services as well. The more professional managed services approach can be a differentiating factor for Frontier, as it faces increasingly intense competition from cable and others for SMB business, Bloss said in a Q&A moderated by Light Reading.

The Bulls are still working on a variety of options for monetizing their WiFi network, including publicizing concession specials, alerting patrons to shorter lines and streaming video replays to WiFi users as well.

Getting involved with ATC and the Bulls has helped Frontier to significantly raise its profile and cement its brand name in the region, where it acquired the local footprint as part of the Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) deal. Few people had heard of Frontier prior to this connection, Bloss admitted.

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

(13)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
brooks7
50%
50%
brooks7,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/26/2014 | 9:27:56 AM
Re: Puff puff
https://www.linkedin.com/company/outhouse-apps-llc

seven
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/26/2014 | 8:39:33 AM
Re: Puff puff
Carol will testify that I'm full of ... ideas like the Out House app. Let's hope someone from Frontier has a computer and reads our message board. I smell an Employee of the Month award for that fortunate person.
kq4ym
50%
50%
kq4ym,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/26/2014 | 8:37:04 AM
Re: Puff puff
That might be a teriffic way to get some PR going. The outhouse app would probably go viral just from the publicity generated as Frontier gets it's brand out there riding along with that and other stadium event apps.
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
8/25/2014 | 8:50:46 PM
Bull
Will Crash Davis add free wifi to the list of things he believes in?
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/25/2014 | 3:57:51 PM
Re: On a bit more serious note
What's stumping me a bit is the "monetization" aspect. In this specific case, Frontier seems to be focused on brand-building, which makes sense given the details in Carol's story. But unless this is a must-have service from the SMB's point of view -- and therefore something they'd be willing to pay for -- I don't see how an operator can make money off this kind of managed service.
brooks7
50%
50%
brooks7,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/25/2014 | 3:45:46 PM
Re: On a bit more serious note
Dennis,

I get the "Hey you can offer free WiFi" thing that the cable guys are doing.

I also concur that the cheapest is the best.

I also get that this is an article about an interesting idea for telcos sort of.  That is that this is not a new service except the managed service bit of it.

To me the notion that WiFi is big is not the news. It is the managed service offering.  Seems to me that a wireline only company like Frontier would copy the cable guys here.  Not like they are going to buy Tmobile or Sprint (well maybe Centurylink will - that actually seems quite sensible to me...).

 

seven
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/25/2014 | 2:34:55 PM
Re: On a bit more serious note
For the site owner, I would guess the better strategy is the one that brings in more revenue with the least amount of expense. Antenna siting could work but it would depend on a list of variables, including maybe local ordinances and basestation security costs. Cable companies are finding a lot of willing SMB partners for Wi-Fi just because it's a simple value proposition.
brooks7
50%
50%
brooks7,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/25/2014 | 2:24:30 PM
On a bit more serious note
 

Carol/Dennis,

I get it from Frontier's standpoint.  Not sure I see much other than free WiFi but hey that's me.

But here is my question:  If I were the Bulls, would I be better off renting out Lightpole space for Cellular Antenna locations?  In this case, what does WiFi give that I can't get from 4G?  Off network bandwidth that doesn't count against my cap?

seven

 
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/25/2014 | 1:58:30 PM
Re: Puff puff
The restroom app can be called the Out House. Feel free to pass that along.
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
8/25/2014 | 1:46:03 PM
Re: Puff puff
Actually, I thought one obvious usage would be wait times at the bathroom, but maybe that's just for the female fans. 

There are also ways to actually order concessions, and in some places, they will deliver them to your seat. 

I don't think folks decide to go to a baseball game based on the free WiFi, but if it enhances the experience, they will go more often. 
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
Jonestown
Mobile Backhaul: Going to the Dark Side?

10|30|14   |   2:26   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan shares his view on a dark trend that bubbled up at Light Reading's annual backhaul conference in NYC.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With CEO of SwitchCom

10|30|14   |   4:13   |   (0) comments


SwitchCom, an IT company based in Angola, recommends a variety of Huawei solutions and hardware to their customers in the energy industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy

10|30|14   |   4:08   |   (0) comments


Gosaye Mengistie of Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy discusses the collaboration with Huawei in that country.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Dongfang Electronics Corporation

10|30|14   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Dongfang Electronics Corporation, headquartered in Chengdu, China, is one of China's largest manufacturers of power generators and contractors of power station projects.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Zimbabwe's Customers

10|30|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


Representatives of Zimbabwe's Ministry of Power and Development discuss the energy needs of their country as well as new areas of improvement due to enhanced ICT capabilities.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Colbún Chile

10|30|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


In Chile, an aging energy infrastructure was in dire need of a modern update. Claudio Valenzuela of Colbún discusses how Huawei's ICT solutions continue to provide crucial information to improve the grid and how an in-country engineer is a cricial asset.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With YuLiao

10|30|14   |   6:27   |   (0) comments


Yu Liao, chairman of the Chinese Association for Renewable Energy in Germany, discusses the role that ICT solutions play in helping to grow renewable energy resources in Germany.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview

10|30|14   |   2:54   |   (0) comments


Sifang has been working with Huawei on several projects. JingTao Wu, Assistant President of Beijing Sifang Automation Co. Ltd., believes that the cooperation with Huawei can facilitate Sifang's process of internationalization.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
A Better Connected Smart Grid: Powering Laos

10|30|14   |   5:38   |   (0) comments


Representatives of Electricite Du Laos (EDL), a state-owned corporation, discuss the importance of ICT solutions in serving their country's energy needs.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Junwei Lu

10|30|14   |   4:50   |   (0) comments


Professor Junwei Lu of Griffith University Australia describes his work with micro grid technology and the future of the power industry.
LRTV Documentaries
The Next-Gen Network Disconnect

10|29|14   |   01:23   |   (2) comments


There's a lot of talk about making networks more simple with SDN, NFV and next-gen broadband technology – but what about the complexity of introducing such capabilities?
LRTV Custom TV
Grow Your VPN Service Revenue

10|27|14   |   4:00   |   (0) comments


Watch how CSP product managers can better differentiate and maximize the value of their Internet, VPN and cloud services for business services customers, by adding premium application performance visibility to their data services.
Upcoming Live Events
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 30, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Microsoft's Skype Embraces WebRTC on IE
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/27/2014
FTC Slaps AT&T With Throttling Lawsuit
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/28/2014
Wheeler Gets Down With OTT
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/29/2014
China's MVNOs Hit the Wall
Robert Clark, 10/27/2014
Let's Not Kill SDN & NFV With Silos
Francois Locoh-Donou, Senior VP, Global Products Group, Ciena, 10/28/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed