& cplSiteName &
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First        ADD A COMMENT
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....
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.
MordyK
MordyK
3/28/2015 | 1:58:25 PM
Re: WiFi competition
Seven alluded to an important factor, which is the need for easily developed or available third party tools. Most shops will not have the ability to gain any value from the data without the assistance and availability of third party tools, which is the promise of products like Square or the new SHopkeep.
mendyk
mendyk
3/28/2015 | 4:15:11 PM
Re: WiFi competition
Square has a very direct and utilitarian purpose for small businesses, which is why it has gained some traction. Not to dismiss the use of analytics for small businesses altogether, but the percentage of small businesses that need or want that level of data engagement is much less than 100%. Certain businesses in certain markets with a certain size will find the approach promising enough to invest money and time in it. But this isn't a deep pool of opportunity -- it's more like a very wide and very shallow puddle.
MordyK
MordyK
3/28/2015 | 4:28:31 PM
Re: WiFi competition
analytics is only one thing that can be done with data, hence the need for a broad array of application using said data. An example of a use case would be real-time and personalized customer engagement.

I am working on a project at the moment where this would be extremely interesting.
sarahthomas1011
sarahthomas1011
3/30/2015 | 12:08:37 PM
Re: WiFi competition
I imagine AT&T would be more than happy to be that partner to help them make use of their analytics. It's fairly easy to do so, and would just be a matter of if that small business is willing to pay for the capability. 
MordyK
MordyK
3/30/2015 | 12:24:11 PM
Re: WiFi competition
WHile analytics is a means of utilizing the data, its about the ability to create actionable items using the data which is a whole lot more complicated, and if you have a unique need it needs to be a wide open easy to use API kit.
brooks7
brooks7
3/30/2015 | 12:50:12 PM
Re: WiFi competition
"I imagine AT&T would be more than happy to be that partner to help them make use of their analytics. It's fairly easy to do so, and would just be a matter of if that small business is willing to pay for the capability. "

Sara - I disagree with your statement.  The collection of the data is simple.  You are correct about that.  The problem at a Small Business Level is what do people do with it.  I work with a LOT of Small Businesses.  Many of them are not good marketing folks or operations folks.  So to me AT&T should have an open ecosystem to allow not just the technology partnerships to flourish but the human ones (consultancies).  

seven

 
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.
sarahthomas1011
sarahthomas1011
3/30/2015 | 12:06:16 PM
Re: AT&T suppliers
Answer: AT&T is not disclosing... Sorry, folks. Will keep digging.
Phil_Britt
Phil_Britt
3/30/2015 | 8:48:46 AM
Oil & Vinegar Shows the Way
Oil & Vinegar's reasoning is intriguing and can likly be expanded upon by this company and others. If prospects/customers are already interacting, it's relatively easy to send a discount offer for something they are researching, particularly if it is a slow-moving item.


Featured Video
Upcoming Live Events
October 1-2, 2019, New Orleans, Louisiana
October 10, 2019, New York, New York
October 22, 2019, Los Angeles, CA
November 5, 2019, London, England
November 7, 2019, London, UK
November 14, 2019, Maritim Hotel, Berlin
December 3, 2019, New York, New York
December 3-5, 2019, Vienna, Austria
March 16-18, 2020, Embassy Suites, Denver, Colorado
May 18-20, 2020, Irving Convention Center, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Partner Perspectives - content from our sponsors
Why Are Governments Around the World Subsidizing 5G?
By Paul Zhou, FromGeek.com, for Huawei
Edge Computing, the Next Great IT Revolution
By Rajesh Gadiyar, Vice President & CTO, Network & Custom Logic Group, Intel Corp
Innovations in Home Media Terminals for the Upcoming 5G Era
By Tang Wei, Vice President, ZTE Corporation
All Partner Perspectives