Light Reading

Vodafone Sets Small Cells Free in Greece

Michelle Donegan
LR Mobile News Analysis
Michelle Donegan
12/4/2012
50%
50%

Vodafone Greece has launched a free 3G data service for its customers to access via public-access small cells located in restaurants and cafés across the country, according to a new case study published by Informa Telecoms & Media .

The news comes after Vodafone Group CTO Steve Pusey recently shared the operator's plans for small cells. (See Vodafone CTO Opens Up on Small Cells.)

The new service, called "Free 3G Hotspot," allows Vodafone customers to access 3G as well as Wi-Fi hotspots for free, without the usage counting against their monthly data caps. The access points are located at 200 Flocafe cafeterias and Goody's fast-food chains. Vodafone rolled out the Wi-Fi hotspots through its partnership with fixed-line service provider Hellas Online, while it deployed the 3G hotspots via a small cell and a directional antenna to cover the indoor areas.

An Android application is available to download from the Google Play store that alerts customers when they enter or leave a Free 3G Hotspot area. But there is a five-minute delay from when subscribers enter the small-cell coverage zones to when they receive an SMS text message that will notify them of the service availability.

As soon as users are "camped on" to the small cell, all data usage is white-listed so that it is not taken from their monthly allowance.

Informa published the case study as part of its quarterly small-cells market update, which reports that there are now 46 small-cell deployments worldwide. The market update also includes a survey, which finds that 55 percent of the 280 mobile operator respondents are most interested in public-access rollouts for small cells, while 35 percent of those surveyed were most interested in enterprise deployments.

Why this matters
Vodafone's new service model will be one that other operators contemplating small-cell services will want to study, particularly since it was launched in a country where dire economic circumstances don't allow operators much room to maneuver with new offerings. As Informa's case study points out, the service could provide Vodafone with new revenue streams, such as advertising or other location-based services. However, it would be interesting to know what proportion of the 200 hotspots are Wi-Fi access points as opposed to 3G small cells.

For more



— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

(6)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Michelle Donegan
50%
50%
Michelle Donegan,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:16:34 PM
re: Vodafone Sets Small Cells Free in Greece


Just learned that all of the 200 locations each have a 3G small cell and a WiFi access point. So, I think this case study will be even more interesting when there is some data on which type of hotspot has the better user experience -- for example, which one is easier to access and which do users prefer -- 3G or WiFi?

MordyK
50%
50%
MordyK,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 5:16:31 PM
re: Vodafone Sets Small Cells Free in Greece


This is something i've been saying for a while is the real value and needs to be teh focus with small cells beyond just the coverage aspect. This can be about analytics and 3rd party applications which is the really cool aspect of it.

Michelle Donegan
50%
50%
Michelle Donegan,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:16:31 PM
re: Vodafone Sets Small Cells Free in Greece


Thanks, Dimitris!


This is definitely one to watch. Do you know of any other operators with a 3G hotspot service like this?

drmitsos
50%
50%
drmitsos,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:16:31 PM
re: Vodafone Sets Small Cells Free in Greece


Michelle,


I believe that the cellular service is provided by Vodafone and the WiFi service by HOL (Vodafone's fixed partner who also provides the DSL backhaul).


3G is definitely easier to connect to, as no user input is necessary. Simple handover to the small cell triggers traffic white-listing.


Connecting to the WiFi network requires a username/password to be sent to a mobile handset via SMS.


I would also very interested to see stats, but bear in mind that the service launched yesterday (3rd December) and not many subscribers are yet familar with it!


Thanks,


Dimitris. 

macster
50%
50%
macster,
User Rank: Light Bulb
12/5/2012 | 5:16:30 PM
re: Vodafone Sets Small Cells Free in Greece


Hi Dimitris,


Quick question. For WiFi, when you say username/password, does this mean the user clicking on a link sent via SMS, then keying in username/password? Or... just a password for connecting to the WiFi access point (like how we use WiFi on our mobiles)? If the latter, does this mean that one can get the password via SMS, then connect, e.g. using a laptop? Just wondering.....

drmitsos
50%
50%
drmitsos,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:16:25 PM
re: Vodafone Sets Small Cells Free in Greece


Michelle, I am not aware of any other location based services driven by small cells.


Macster, the user has to connect to WiFi, enter his phone number, wait for an SMS with username/password and enter these to connect. So it's somewhat more complicated.

Flash Poll
LRTV Custom TV
A New Security Paradigm in SDN/NFV

7|28|14   |   02:54   |   (0) comments


Paul Shaneck, Global Director Network Solutions for Symantec, discusses the evolving virtualized network, explaining how Symantec is leading the security discussion as it relates to SDN and NFV, and helping to ensure the network is protected and compliant.
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint's Network Evolution

7|24|14   |   14:59   |   (0) comments


Sprint's Jay Bluhm gives a keynote speech at the Big Telecom Event (BTE) about Sprint's network and services evolution strategy, including Spark.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE Keynote: The Software-Defined Operator

7|24|14   |   18:43   |   (1) comment


Deutsche Telekom's Axel Clauberg explains the concept of the software-defined operator to the Big Telecom Event (BTE) crowd.
Light Reedy
Numbers Are In: LR's 2014 Salary Survey

7|24|14   |   1:25   |   (7) comments


Our fourth annual Salary Survey paints a picture of who's hiring, firing, earning, and yearning for a change in the telecom industry.
LRTV Custom TV
Driving the Network Transformation

7|23|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


Intel's Sandra Rivera discusses network transformation and how Intel technologies, programs, and standards body efforts have helped the industry migration to SDN and NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed NFV-Based Business Services by RAD

7|18|14   |   5:38   |   (0) comments


With the ETSI-approved Distributed NFV PoC running in the background, RAD's CEO, Dror Bin, talks about why D-NFV makes compelling sense for service providers, and about the dollars and cents RAD is putting behind D-NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
MRV Accelerating Packet Optical Convergence

7|15|14   |   6:06   |   (0) comments


Giving you network insight to make your network smarter.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV-Enabled Ethernet for Generating New Revenues

7|15|14   |   5:49   |   (0) comments


Cyan's Planet Orchestrate allows service providers and their end-customers to activate software-based capabilities such as firewalls and encryption on top of existing Ethernet services in just minutes.
LRTV Custom TV
Symkloud NVF-Ready Video Transcoding, Big Data

7|9|14   |   3:41   |   (0) comments


Kontron and ISV partner Vantrix demonstrate high-performance video transcoding and data analytic solutions on same 2U standard platform that is ready for SDN and NFV deployments made by mobile, cable and cloud operators.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Evolving Role of Hybrid Video for Competitive Success

7|4|14   |   4:09   |   (0) comments


At Huawei's Global Analysts Summit in Shenzhen, China, Steven C. Hawley from TV Strategies speaks to us about the evolving role of hybrid video for competitive success.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
How CSPs Leverage Big Data in the Digital Economy

7|4|14   |   4:48   |   (2) comments


Justin van der Lande from Analysys Mason shares with us his views on how telecom operators can leverage customer asset monetization with big data. His discusses the current status of big data applications and the challenges and opportunities for telecom operators in the digital economy era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accelerator for Digital Business Future Oriented BSS

7|4|14   |   3:08   |   (0) comments


Mobile and internet are becoming intertwined; IT and CT are integrating; and leading CSPs have begun to transform to information service and entertainment providers. How should the BSS system evolve to enable this transformation? Karl Whitelock, an analyst at Frost & Sullivan, shares his views.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Packet Design asks network professionals how they handle the cloud, SDN, and network management.
Today's Cartoon
Vacation Special Caption Competition Click Here
Latest Comment
Hot Topics
Is Windstream Boldly Setting a New Trend?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/29/2014
U-verse Growth Slips But Still Strong
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 7/24/2014
Salary Survey Report 2014
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 7/23/2014
Facebook: 30% of Users Are Mobile-Only
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 7/24/2014
Verizon Applies 3G Throttling Policy to LTE
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 7/25/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed