WiFi calling news has started the New Year off with a major bang. The big news in Q3/ Q4 of 2014 was of course the announcement of support for WiFi calling for all 4 major carriers and WiFi calling enabled on iOS 8. Are the carriers too late though? That is the question being asked by some industry experts who speculate that there are much bigger WiFi calling things at work here – primarily in the form of cellphone service that focuses on providing the best user experience with a large focus on WiFi calling(Finally!!!). For the multifamily and assisted living industries, primarily, WiFi calling will have a major impact on the services expected by residents and tenants. While both industries have been burdened by indoor cellular coverage issues that have up until now required expensive in-building cellular solutions, WiFi calling will allow building owners to provide residents and tenants with property-wide coverage for a price drastically less than DAS or CellBoost®.
Both Google and Cablevision are preparing for releases of two major product offerings that are sure to be wireless industry game changers. with Cablevision’s service utilizing WiFi first as a platform for voice, data and text. Here’s the skinny on the two offerings:
Cablevision: Cablevision is starting a WiFi-only mobile phone service called “Freewheel” which will allow for unlimited data/ talk/ txt for $9.95/ month for Cablevision subscribers and $29.95 for non-subscribers.
Google: Google’s service would utilize T-Mobile, Sprint and WiFi, locating the best available signal for voice, text and data usage. This service will be offered nationwide and is expected to be rolled out in the first half of the year.
Both of these offers are massive shakeups to the wireless telecom industry and projects of what is to come. For years the public has lacked choice in wireless and have been victims to the four major carriers and their exclusivity agreements. The introduction of the WiFi unlicensed spectrum to the voice industry will undoubtedly provide the public with more choice and the market with more competition. There have been start-up attempts to release WiFi-first devices by companies like Scratch Wireless and Republic Wireless, however these two offerings are the first major products from large, non-carriers.
Wireless experts are taking note of the impact that this “disruptive” technology will have on the industry and the companies themselves:
It’s a very aggressive move,” said Dave Fraser, CEO of Devicescape, a company that is stitching together a network of millions of WiFi hotspots worldwide. “You can image Google driving down the price to be disruptive and paying for it with revenue from other services that the company already provides, like search and advertising.”
To read more about this exciting wireless industry news: http://adage.com/article/media/google-cablevision-aim-upend-wireless-industry-wifi/296810/