Feeds

Paying for 802.11 by mobile phone

One bill fits all

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

The public WLAN scene is chaotic and, so far as billing revenues concerned, teeny-weeny. But the standards are coming together globally, and network providers are rolling out hotspots across the rich planet.

The punters are keen to pay for this service, according to a recent In-Stat survey of early adopters.

"Virtually all respondents were at least somewhat interested in using WLANs in public places, with 19% already using them and 33% extremely interested in utilizing them in the future."

Which is nice. But it still leaves the big problem: how to charge for mobile Internet through WLANs. Punters want seamless billing, mobile phone-style, just like when they go travelling abroad (although without the outrageous mark-ups for international roaming). They would also prefer flat fees for access - just like with broadband. We reckon that providers will be in little hurry to move to flat fee when the market is so young. Per minute charging is so much more profitable, after all.

However, the infrastructure providers want the same outcome as their customers. Seamless billing, seamless standards means much greater take-up.

But who will do the billing? A majority of early adopters want to pay for public WLAN through their mobile phone provider, which will be a welcome boost to the wireless networks, and a kick in the teeth for the landline telcos. The latter might gain a good revenue stream from public WLAN revenues, but it doesn't get to own the customer relationships.

So the mobile networks are best place to profit from public WLAN. This should push up ARPUs (average revenues per user), as In-Stat points out. Most early adopters are business users, and their companies will be willing to pay good money to squeeze out a few more drops of productivity from their employees on the move.

The mobile phone networks are having a tough time with 3G - the cost, the roll-out, the handsets - or lack of, the applications (ditto). Public WLAN will be a nice little earner. And who knows, a successful global WLAN network may encourage people to migrate some mobile data apps to 3G, some day. There will never be enough hotspots to approach the coverage of 3G. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T dangles gigabit broadband plans over 100 US cities
So soon after a mulled Google Fiber expansion, fancy that
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
Google looks to LTE and Wi-Fi to help it lube YouTube tubes
Bandwidth hogger needs tube embiggenment if it's to succeed
Turnbull gave NBN Co NO RULES to plan blackspot upgrades
NBN Co faces huge future Telstra bills and reduces fibre footprint
NBN Co plans fibre-to-the-basement blitz to beat cherry-pickers
Heading off at the pass operation given same priority as blackspot fixing
NBN Co in 'broadband kit we tested worked' STUNNER
Announcement of VDSL trial is not proof of concept for fibre-to-the-node
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.