Boingo Wireless has introduced a new approach to providing public Wi-Fi access in airports and other large-scale venues called S.M.A.R.T. Networks.
The design for S.M.A.R.T (secure, multiplatform, analytics-driven, responsive and tiered) re-imagines public Wi-Fi from the ground up based on usage data that identified multiple classes of users with significantly different connection and usage profiles.
“Keeping passengers satisfied is more complicated than simply offering free Wi-Fi, because consumers have very different needs when it comes to connectivity,” said Nick Hulse, president of Boingo Wireless.
“The Wi-Fi needs of an occasional leisure traveller who gets online to check email or update Facebook before boarding are vastly different from those of a business traveller, who expects the airport Wi-Fi network to function as an extension of their office.”
In a typical venue, the S.M.A.R.T. Network will include three classes of services aimed at three unique user/application profiles. Complimentary Wi-Fi, supported by advertising and sponsorship, provides up to 5MB of speed for users with basic connectivity demands, such as e-mail and web browsing.
A ‘Turbo Boost’ premium tier of service, supporting speeds up to 10MB, is available for power users who want to stream media. And ‘Enterprise Wi-Fi’, with a super-fast 20MB of speed, is available for frequent business travellers who need the airport Wi-Fi network to function as an enterprise tool.
Boingo’s S.M.A.R.T. Networks leverage advanced, high capacity wireless network design to support multiple classes of service, improving customer satisfaction and ensuring operational efficiency, cost management and monetisation opportunities for airports, the company claimed.
“The historic methods of designing and building networks had to be completely readdressed because of the explosion in the devices and applications available and the data consumed,” said Marc Patterson, vice president of products for Boingo Wireless.
“Our new S.M.A.R.T. Networks will provide more choice and security to passengers, and enhanced network insights, responsiveness and scalability to venue owners through state-of-the-art technologies.”
S.M.A.R.T. Networks are:
Secure: All S.M.A.R.T. Networks will be Passpoint enabled, supporting WPA2 encrypted connections for some classes of service, in addition to employing security configurations that protect the core network.
Boingo has been a pioneer in the deployment of Passpoint networks, a wireless industry standard that enables instant, secure Wi-Fi connectivity to those with a Passpoint profile on a supported device.
Multi-platform: Mobile devices have different activity and data consumption profiles – and one Wi-Fi network does not fit all. S.M.A.R.T. Networks are designed to optimize the Wi-Fi experience, platform-by-platform. Boingo’s classes of service help users and service providers pick the experience they desire, while the network intelligently optimises that experience for the platform itself.
Analytics-driven: Today, understanding utilisation, traffic flow and dwell time are important to managing a quality Wi-Fi network. S.M.A.R.T. Networks are location-aware, enabling venues to better serve customers with actionable business intelligence derived from historic and predictive analytics.
Responsive: Public Wi-Fi networks in large venues are complex, and network demand can vary wildly. S.M.A.R.T. Networks balance flexibility, capacity and connection performance with an adaptable network infrastructure. S.M.A.R.T. Networks continually evaluate the service being provided, ensuring that it’s delivering the defined user experience for each class of service.
Tiered: S.M.A.R.T. Networks support multiple classes of service that can be tuned for a defined user experience. The tiers of service classes create user experiences that meet the needs of casual and power users alike.
Networks are now available for airports worldwide, with the first installations launching by the end of the year. S.M.A.R.T. Networks will soon be available for other large-scale venues.