Prudence in the Wake of the FCC’s Ruling on Marriott Jamming WiFi

Mike Fratto

Mike Fratto

Summary Bullets:

  • The FCC’s ruling finding Marriott guilty of jamming a conference goer’s hotspot will have a profound impact on companies of all stripes.
  • Until there is clarification on when or if over-the-air WiFi management is acceptable, not using such management techniques would be prudent.

On October 3, the FCC found that Marriott International had jammed a personal hotspot in the Nashville Gaylord Opryland resort convention center. Marriott International countered, saying it “has a strong interest in ensuring that when our guests use our WiFi service, they will be protected from rogue wireless hotspots that can cause degraded service, insidious cyber-attacks and identity theft.” Marriott went on to say that many companies use containment features – on FCC approved devices, no less – to manage airspace, making it a common and accepted practice. Read more of this post

4G, WiFi and Roaming – Three Things That Should All Be ‘Free’?

Gary Barton

Gary Barton

Summary Bullets:

  • Premiums for mobile roaming and 4G will prevent business users from taking full advantage of other paid-for services, such as hosted applications and remote access services.
  • Business customers should begin to demand voice over WiFi as a standard part of their mobility solutions.

In a recent statement from Neelie Kroes, the vice president for the digital agenda in the European Commission, she spoke of her “dream” to see a “true, integrated single market.”  Kroes went on to add that “in such a market, there is no roaming.”  The fine details are a long way from being agreed upon, but this statement is a clear indication that the EU intends to go beyond capping mobile roaming fees within the EU and actually prohibit them altogether.  The devil is always in the details with such legislation and business customers will undoubtedly hold suspicions that they will end up paying for roaming one way or another.  There is no such thing as a free lunch and we all appreciate that MNOs have to make a profit.  Vodafone UK, for example, has announced that it is investing GBP 900 million in rolling out 4G and upgrading backhaul and network infrastructure to cope with the rollout.  As this is the investment required for only one European country, the task of convincing operators that it is in their interest not to set too high a price for 4G, and similarly roaming, might seem daunting. Read more of this post

Shopping Habits Are Changing, but ICT Can Keep the In-Store Experience Relevant

Gary Barton

Gary Barton

Summary Bullets:

  • If the customer is ‘always right,’ then retailers need to accept that e-commerce is not wrong.
  • The boundary between online and in-store shopping is more blurry than it first appears.

‘Showrooming’ is one of the latest neologisms buzzing around media outlets in the UK and elsewhere.  The word describes a phenomenon that most of us have been aware of for some time and probably many of us are guilty of more often than we would care to admit.  The ‘crime’ is that of walking into a high street store, looking at a product, even trying it on/out and then buying the product online for a lower price – increasingly often via a smartphone whilst still in the store.  The problems of brick-and-mortar costs (rent, rates/tax, energy, staff, etc.) versus online stores are also well known; so how do modern retailers seek to turn around this trend? Read more of this post

Dual-Mode Telephony Solutions Fall by the Wayside

Brian Riggs

B. Riggs

Summary Bullets:

  • Enterprise FMC solutions may no longer be aggressively marketed, but they are still available.
  • Device security, management, and application enablement have taken over as top enterprise mobility concerns.

A few years back, there was such a rage for enterprise FMC solutions that maintained voice call continuity while transitioning a call in progress on a dual-mode mobile phone between a cellular and a WiFi connection.  It seemed every time I turned around there was some new VC-backed enterprise FMC start-up – Agito, Divitas, Comdasys, Varaha, OptiMobile, Telepo, QuesCom, NewStep – focused on this. Read more of this post

Public WiFi Is Cool Again; What Can It Bring to the Enterprise?

K. Weldon

K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • Use of WiFi is on the rise among both operators facing congested networks and enterprises looking for cost-savings, especially for international roaming.
  • Budding efforts are on the way to streamline the user experience; allow seamless, secure roaming; and make WiFi usage less of a hassle for travelers.

Nearly all new smartphones, tablets, e-readers, and laptops have WiFi built-in, and for many of these devices, WiFi is the only network option.  However, the use of public hotspots has suffered from spotty coverage, inconsistent performance, security concerns, and a painful sign-up experience.  There are too many providers for any frequent traveler to track.  However, since carriers stopped offering unlimited 3G plans, and with the cost of international roaming still a big concern, businesses now need WiFi more than ever.  Wireless operators are joining the bandwagon, as high data and video usage on their networks causes congestion problems which are only going to get worse.  A number of different service providers and vendors are addressing how they can improve the WiFi experience and make it a viable complement to 3G/4G cellular. Read more of this post