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sarahthomas1011
sarahthomas1011
3/26/2015 | 1:38:43 PM
WiFi competition
This is as much a response to its wireless competitors as it is to cable companies, who have increasingly large WiFi footprints and are also serving enterprises.

But, it's also a natural offering from AT&T, as more retailers look to offer WiFi that's separate from their own internal network. Consumers are coming to expect -- or at least appreciate -- free WiFi wherever they go.
Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner
3/26/2015 | 1:45:27 PM
Re: WiFi competition
Interesting to see a retailer offering the service. I guess they're not afraid of showrooming.

I wonder what kind of customer information the businesses can collect, if any. 
sarahthomas1011
sarahthomas1011
3/26/2015 | 1:47:26 PM
Re: WiFi competition
Outside of what they get just by virtue of someone signing on, they can request information as a condition of getting the free WiFi -- name, email or phone number, or perhaps even requiring you opt in to receive their emails. I've also seen WIFi offered through social media sign-on, which lets them connect with customers there. 
Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner
3/26/2015 | 2:06:01 PM
Re: WiFi competition
Some of the more interesting retail/wireless applications use precise location data to track customer movement as a proxy for customer interest. So, for example, the retailer Oil & Vinegar could find out whether browsers are more interested in, um, oil or vinegar by measuring whether they linger more at the oil shelves or the vinegar shelves. 
sarahthomas1011
sarahthomas1011
3/26/2015 | 2:12:49 PM
Re: WiFi competition
For sure, although I do have to wonder about the type of person that is spending so long browsing through oil and vinegar that it makes sense to jump on the WiFi network...
Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner
3/26/2015 | 5:01:59 PM
Re: WiFi competition
Beacons. That's the word I was looking for. Beacons provide the kind of pinpoint accuracy you need to do really interesting retail mobile applications. 

And there are a lot of choices to make in oil and vinegar. In vinegar alone you have balsamic, virgin, extra virgin, super-extra-virgin. In oil you have salad, motor....
MikeP688
MikeP688
3/27/2015 | 8:26:52 AM
Re: WiFi competition
The bottom line as I see it based on @Sarah's thoughts and the interaction is this:  It is a draw--and the proflieration of Free-Wifi is fun to be witness to.   In my community today, I would see there is free Wi-Fi in almost 70% of the City--and I won't be surprised if this is the case in major metropolitan areas.    Glad to see AT&T is spreaheading a more "focused" effort on this--it goes to the commodization of this which will be ever so beneficial for the ordinary customer.

 
sarahthomas1011
sarahthomas1011
3/27/2015 | 2:32:52 PM
AT&T suppliers
Btw, I'm looking into who is providing AT&T with the access points and the software/interface for its WiFi service. That wasn't announced, although I know it's used Cisco APs in the past.
brooks7
brooks7
3/27/2015 | 7:27:28 PM
Re: WiFi competition
The thing is a 50 person business is not going to do a lot with creating/sifting data without a partner...maybe that is an opportunity to build on top of the service to provide capability to these store - that if they are truly SMBs - have no IT people or a single desktop support person.

seven

 
mendyk
mendyk
3/28/2015 | 10:48:44 AM
Re: WiFi competition
The artisan brewers in Upper Hipsterville understand that the most important ingredient to their success is not the hops or the barley or the essence of pomegranate, but applying analytics to captured social media interactions to know what their customers are thinking before they even think it.
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