Devicescape has published The Connectivity First Manifesto, marking what the company believes will be a decisive year for the mobile operator community. The key idea behind the manifesto is that operators should think ‘connectivity first’, rather than maintain a silo mentality when it comes to providing cellular or Wi-Fi connectivity.
The rise of the Wi-Fi First movement, and the entry of powerful cable and internet brands into the smartphone connectivity space, are effecting dramatic changes on the operator landscape. Devicescape believes mobile operators must make changes of their own if they are to maintain their position in a rapidly evolving environment.
Cellular networks today deliver just 30% of all data consumed by smartphone users, with the remainder accessed over Wi-Fi connections. Where mobile operators once controlled the entire user experience, they now influence only a minority. But by integrating cellular and Wi-Fi into a unified Connectivity First service, operators can match the needs of today’s smartphone user, and defend their market share against innovative newcomers.
“Connectivity is bigger than cellular and bigger than Wi-Fi,” said Dave Fraser, CEO, Devicescape. “The emergence of new service providers, whether they’re startups or internet giants, tells us the industry is moving on. Companies without a legacy of alignment with particular technologies and business models can approach wireless service in a completely new way, tailoring it to current user behavior. We are convinced that, from 2015, the service model for all successful operators has to be Connectivity First.”
Addressing the needs of the smartphone user, the changes taking place in the connectivity landscape, and the evolution of the operator market, The Connectivity First Manifesto includes data from new research by Devicescape quantifying the availability of free amenity Wi-Fi in the US.
A worldwide connectivity megatrend, amenity Wi-Fi is particularly dense in North America. U.S. amenity Wi-Fi is found in: 99% of airports; 95% of hotels; 71% of stadiums/convention centers; 72% of museums; 68% of cafes/bars; and 69% of fast food establishments.
Other key facts highlighted by The Connectivity First Manifesto include:
- Many users lack the understanding and motivation to solve connectivity problems off the cellular network. 29% never connect to their home Wi-Fi. 53% of people keep Wi-Fi switched off in public. 91% of potential public Wi-Fi connections go unrealized.
- 70% of mobile operators surveyed believe that end users want an integrated wireless service that delivers connectivity irrespective of technology. This is not reflected in current service offerings.
- The mobile operator community’s tentative approach to Wi-Fi has directly facilitated the emergence of a Wi-Fi First movement committed to disruption.
The Connectivity First Manifesto is available for download at: www.devicescape.com