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.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink: Building the Case for NFV

12|19|14   |   02:14   |   (0) comments


At the 2020 Vision Executive Summit, James Feger, VP, Network Strategy & Development at CenturyLink, talks about how the US operator is approaching virtual network functions from an operational and business case perspective.
LRTV Interviews
Liberty Global Sees Business Goldmine

12|18|14   |     |   (0) comments


Steen Sorensen, VP of business services for Liberty Global, explains where the giant international MSO sees growth potential.
LRTV Documentaries
EE: The Road to 5G

12|16|14   |   16:02   |   (1) comment


Andy Sutton, the principal network architect at UK mobile operator EE, explains how his company is using Wembley stadium as a wireless test bed and how that's helping EE to plan the evolution to 5G.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Highlights of Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014

12|16|14   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei hosted its inaugural NFV Open Cloud Forum during the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014 in Düsseldorf, Germany. The Forum brought together technology thought leaders, senior executives and telecom professionals from global carriers, industry associations, as well as other partner companies in the ecosystem, to exchange views on and collectively explore how ...
LRTV Custom TV
Realizing Operators' Digital Vision

12|16|14   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Leveraging technology is fundamental to digital transformation but understanding customers and serving them really well is at the heart of digital businesses. TM Forum lists the following as the strategic pillars of the digital business: business agility and rapid innovation, operational agility and effectiveness, IT and data centricity, plus customer centricity. ...
LRTV Documentaries
US Cellular Injects Analytics Into LTE

12|16|14   |   2:57   |   (1) comment


US Cellular's Mario Vela explains how the operator uses analytics for network planning and what comes next as the carrier looks to eke more value out of its metrics.
LRTV Interviews
How Cox Biz Plans to Keep Growing

12|15|14   |     |   (2) comments


Steve Rowley, SVP of Cox Business, details how the third-biggest US MSO intends to boost its revenues to $2 billion and beyond over the rest of the decade
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Bill Zhang, Director of SoftCOM Product Management, Huawei

12|15|14   |   2:50   |   (0) comments


Bill Zhang elaborated on Huawei's open philosophy in NFV solution development and network architecture design at the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Event Highlights: Huawei at SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014

12|15|14   |   3:43   |   (0) comments


Huawei joined the 2014 SDN & OpenFlow Congress as one of the key sponsors and contributors. At the event, Huawei reinforced the openness and flexibility of its network infrastructure strategies, and provided updates on its SDN and NVF innovations. Through participations at the exhibitions, forums and speeches, Huawei encouraged the industry to "think bigger and ...
LRTV Interviews
How Cable Biz Services Hit $10B Mark

12|12|14   |     |   (1) comment


Cable operators reached $10 billion in annual business services revenues by delving deeper into their vertical markets and expanding beyond the smallest firms.
LRTV Documentaries
Mediacom Aims to Test Connected Tractors

12|11|14   |   05:07   |   (3) comments


Cable business service provider is taking its services to the 'agribusiness' sector in partnership with farm equipment specialist John Deere and is getting involved in Gigabit Cities developments.
LRTV Interviews
TWC Business Looks Beyond $3B

12|10|14   |     |   (0) comments


TWC Business Services chief Phil Meeks explains how his unit has reached $3 billion in annual revenues and what its plans are for next year.
Upcoming Live Events
February 10, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Hot Topics
T-Mobile, BlackBerry Flirt With Reuniting
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/17/2014
1-Gig: Coming to a Small Town Near You
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 12/17/2014
Comcast Launches 4K Streaming Service
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 12/18/2014
US Carriers, You're Going to Cuba!
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 12/18/2014
T-Mobile Lights Up 27 Wideband LTE Cities
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/15/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive