Tata Wi-Fi+ Lets Mobile Operators Offload Onto 21m Hotspots

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Tata uses iPass Wi-Fi network to give mobile operators the chance to get more revenues from roaming and indoor calls

Tata Communications claims its new ‘Wi-Fi+’ service will allow mobile operators to increase revenues and network quality by offloading traffic onto more than 21 million hotspots worldwide.

The company says many mobile customers are frustrated by poor indoor cellular coverage and the high cost of roaming abroad.

The hope is that by providing access to a global Wi-Fi network, to which devices connect to automatically when an access point is nearby, could be a key differentiator.

Wi-Fi+

Networks“To date, the high cost of mobile data has put people off from using high-bandwidth applications such as video calling and music streaming services while on the move,” said Christian Michaud, head of strategy, product and business development at Tata Communication’s Service Provider Group.

“And when travelling abroad, many users avoid making calls and texting too – resulting in lost revenues for [Mobile operators].

“Our new solution tackles this issue head-on. It opens up new revenue streams for MNOs without CAPEX investment, and allows users to keep in touch through voice, messaging and video, or even stream music – without fear of bill shock, both at home and abroad.”

Wi-Fi+ is powered by iPass’s network of hotspots. iPass does not own any hotspots itself and instead agrees partnerships with various providers to offer businesses a single log-in and billing service that promises to make it easier and cheaper to use wireless Internet services around the world.

Last year it integrated Devicescape’s 20 million curated access points into its network, bringing its total footprint to more than 50 million, or two thirds of the world’s public hotspots.

It is unclear why Wi-Fi+ does not make use of the full iPass network and the company declined to give any specific reason when asked by TechWeekEurope.

“At present, Wi-Fi+ provides connectivity to more than 21 million hotspots across more than 100 countries on iPass’ global Wi-Fi hotspot network, which in total has more than 53 million hotspots,” said Michaud. “We may look to extend the reach of Wi-Fi+ to the rest of iPass’ network in the future.”

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