& cplSiteName &

Leading Lights Finalists 2014: Most Innovative Carrier WiFi Deployment

Sarah Thomas
5/23/2014
50%
50%

Carrier WiFi initiatives from both wireless and cable service providers have really taken shape in the past year in terms of their scale and capabilities.

As such, we had a number of excellent entries to choose from in the category of "Most Innovative Carrier WiFi Deployment." This award goes to the communications service provider that has launched the most innovative carrier-class WiFi service for its customers in the past year. This year, new Hotspot 2.0 deployments that improve WiFi authentication show up twice in our finalist list, as does an operator monetizing WiFi in new ways, and one taking advantage of it to improve voice calling.

You can view the full Leading Lights shortlist here, but here are this year's WiFi candidates, presented in alphabetical order to stump the guessers.

Boingo Wireless, Inc. -- Passpoint Secure Network
Boingo Wireless Inc. has been an early champion of Hotspot 2.0, working to encourage other operators to support the standard as well. It was the first to trial the automatic authentication technology in Chicago's O'Hare airport last year. This served as a testing ground for wireless operators and handset makers to implement the technology, but Boingo has since expanded into actual commercial deployment in 23 airports across the US that serve 445 million customers annually.

In these airports, including LAX and JFK, Boingo customers with compatible devices are automatically switched on to its WPA2 encrypted wireless network without any log-in, landing page, or app required. This not only improves the experience for Boingo subscribers, but also those customers of its roaming partners, which include five out 10 largest mobile operators in the world.

Orange Poland -- Hotspot 2.0 WiFi deployment, Warsaw Royal Gardens
Speaking of Hotspot 2.0, Orange Poland was one of the very first to launch a commercial Hotspot 2.0 network in its country's largest park, the Warsaw Royal Gardens, covering 760,000 square meters. It announced the deployment, which uses Ruckus Wireless Inc. access points, at Mobile World Congress in February.

The use of Hotspot 2.0 is helping the operator reduce traffic pressure on its network as it is now easier to move customers to WiFi and, the operator says, this network provides faster, more reliable, and secure Internet access. Successful deployments like this will be crucial to encouraging other operators to adopt and support the standard, thus moving the WiFi market from trials to actual launches and improving the user experience for everyone.

Sprint Corp. -- VoWiFi Calling and Messaging Service
Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) has found a way to eke more value out of its customers' existing WiFi networks by adding the ability to make voice calls and send texts over WiFi. In partnership with Kineto Wireless Inc. and Taqua LLC , Sprint began support voice-over-WiFi in February. The service currently works on select Android devices with more to come, and Sprint says it selects the strongest signal and seamlessly hands off between cellular and WiFi, so calls aren't dropped if customers leave the range of WiFi.

WiFi has grown so prevalent that using it for voice calls just makes sense, especially indoors where cellular service is often shoddy. Sprint wasn't the first in the US to offer VoWiFi: That distinction goes to T-Mobile US Inc. , but it's especially important to Sprint, which needs to move the volume away from its cellular network as it works through Network Vision-related growing pains.

Telecom Corporation of New Zealand Ltd. (Telecom) -- Telecom WiFi
Telecom New Zealand Ltd. (NYSE: NZT; New Zealand: TEL) got into WiFi in 2010 when it needed a network to communicate during disaster recovery after an earthquake that year, but it officially launched an 802.11ac WiFi network nationwide in September of last year. As of March 2014, Telecom had 900 live WiFi hotspots up and running in the new network.

What makes this deployment unique is that the operator is monetizing the hotspots using Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)'s Connected Mobile Experiences platform that personalizes the WiFi service with location information and analytics, as well as with roaming deals and wholesale partnerships. Telecom is also using it as a way to attract new customers and upgrade existing customers, since it's free on selected data plans and $10 per month for non-customers.

The Leading Lights winners and newest class of Hall of Fame inductees will be unveiled at the Leading Lights awards dinner, which will be held the evening of Tuesday, June 17 at Chicago's Adler Planetarium. (For more details, see Bumper Year for the Leading Lights Awards.)

The star-studded soirée will proceed the second day of Light Reading's Big Telecom Event, taking place at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers on June 17-18. (Details and the agenda are on our show site, Big Telecom Event.)

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(11)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
SachinEE
50%
50%
SachinEE,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/31/2014 | 1:59:43 PM
Re : Leading Lights Finalists 2014: Most Innovative Carrier WiFi Deployment
If given the chance to nominate, I would go for Sprint Corp. this is because it has stretched beyond the limit and invented a way through which you can make voice calls and send texts over the WiFi. The fact that voice calls can be made indoors over the WiFi is sensible especially when the cellular devices become shoddy. I am greatly impressed by the good job done by Sprint Corp and I would gladly nominate them as the most innovative when it comes to WiFi development.
SachinEE
50%
50%
SachinEE,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/28/2014 | 12:05:45 PM
Re: Leading Lights Finalists 2014: Most Innovative Carrier WiFi Deployment
The internet cannot be accessible without Wi-Fi. Companies cannot market their products online without Wi-Fi. Higher learning institutions cannot run without Wi-Fi. Scholars cannot do their research without Wi-Fi.  Intelligence Bodies cannot operate without Wi-Fi. This is just but a short list that points out some individuals and groups that are grateful for the existence of Wi-Fi. In deed, the society is reaping the benefits of this development. We love you Software engineers, keep up.
SachinEE
50%
50%
SachinEE,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/27/2014 | 1:37:49 PM
Re: WiFi winners
I also vote for Telecom Corporation of New Zealand (Telecom) since it immediately set up Wi-Fi spots in New Zealand when the earthquake disaster occurred. It created a new network that helped in communication during the disaster and this helped save lives. Also by it officially establishing 900 Wi-Fi hotspots live and running after 4years proved that it is effective in Wi-Fi deployment thus can be put comfortably on the top list as being quite innovative.
MikeP688
50%
50%
MikeP688,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/27/2014 | 9:49:43 AM
Re: WiFi winners
The project @ the City of Laguna Niguel were concluded recently.    Maybe the Next round--I'll make it a point of mentioning it to the City. :-)
MikeP688
50%
50%
MikeP688,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/25/2014 | 3:52:52 PM
Re: And the winner is . . .
It is gratifying to see such visionary providers that understands what service is. 
MikeP688
50%
50%
MikeP688,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/25/2014 | 3:51:43 PM
Re: WiFi winners
I believe it is Cox Communication.
Susan Fourtané
50%
50%
Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Blogger
5/24/2014 | 10:11:01 AM
Re: WiFi winners
Mike, 

Who is the provider in that area? 

-Susan
Susan Fourtané
50%
50%
Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Blogger
5/24/2014 | 10:08:57 AM
And the winner is . . .
This is a very exciting category. I tried to guess who the winner will be. I found it difficult. :/

But well, I vote for Telecom New Zealand for offering the best value to customers and non-customers.

Telecom New Zealand seems to offer a good balance between a good marketing strategy and the best value for clients. :) 

-Susan
MikeP688
50%
50%
MikeP688,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/23/2014 | 5:04:47 PM
Re: WiFi winners
If I was a "judge" or were allowed to nominate, I would nominate the provider that deployed Wi-Fi throughout Capistrano Unified School District.  Whenever I am their campuses, I am able to get on their Wi-Fi and it is as vibrnat as ever.   I also was quite gratified as the City of Laguna Niguel just implemented Public Wi Fi at three of its' major recreation facilities.    Wi-Fi Deployment is taking shape in a major way and it is very gratifying to see. :-)

 
More Blogs from Que Sera Sarah
IBM alleges Microsoft's hire of its Chief Diversity Officer Lindsay-Rae McIntyre violates its non-compete agreement, but should improving diversity be a proprietary process?
Join Women in Comms in Denver on March 22 to discuss how to address and end sexual harassment in the workplace.
Tech and media companies are still worst performers in diversity at the executive level, and their female representation is far below what the pipeline suggests it could be, McKinsey finds in its latest diversity report.
Join Sigma Systems CTO Catherine Michel on January 11 for an inside look at transforming your network, operations and company culture to compete in the digital era.
Join Women in Comms on Nov. 1 in London for a luncheon geared towards men and how they can be important allies for women in the workplace.
Featured Video
From The Founder
The world of virtualization is struggling to wrench itself away from the claws of vendor lock-in, which runs counter to everything that NFV stands for.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
March 20-22, 2018, Denver Marriott Tech Center
March 22, 2018, Denver, Colorado | Denver Marriott Tech Center
March 28, 2018, Kansas City Convention Center
April 4, 2018, The Westin Dallas Downtown, Dallas
April 9, 2018, Las Vegas Convention Center
May 14-16, 2018, Austin Convention Center
May 14, 2018, Brazos Hall, Austin, Texas
September 24-26, 2018, Westin Westminster, Denver
October 9, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
October 23, 2018, Georgia World Congress Centre, Atlanta, GA
November 8, 2018, The Montcalm by Marble Arch, London
November 15, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
December 4-6, 2018, Lisbon, Portugal
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
21st Century Networking? Welcome to the Lock-In
Steve Saunders, Founder, Light Reading, 2/20/2018
How Long Before We Hit Peak MWC?
Iain Morris, News Editor, 2/23/2018
Stakes Run High for Tivo in Comcast Suit
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 2/20/2018
Liberty Global: Not So Fast on D3.1
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 2/20/2018
AT&T Reveals Initial 5G Cities
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/21/2018
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed