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Wi-Fi aggregators attracting attention of IT organizations, says Meta

The Meta Group estimates that although 70% of enterprises outsource their remote dial services, less than 10% procu...

January 27, 2004  

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The Meta Group estimates that although 70% of enterprises outsource their remote dial services, less than 10% procure Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity) hot-spot services.

IT organizations are investigating use of these services as a complement to existing remote access and broadband services, the Stamford, Conn. research firm says.

It adds that a model based on the aggregation of multiple wireless Internet service providers (WISPs) is attracting the attention of enterprise customers and is a viable way of adding Wi-Fi to the existing portfolio of remote access services while limiting vendor risk.

Numerous service aggregation companies have now entered the Wi-Fi services market. According to Meta, this aggregation-services approach to offering Wi-Fi services is attractive, since it offers broad geographic coverage, bundled network access, enhanced security services, and better vendor viability.

The aggregation business model is built on the idea that the individual aggregator maintains the relationship with the customer and brokers the use of many different networks from any number of national, regional, or local providers.

This alleviates the need for an enterprise to maintain relationships with multiple providers and ensures broader network coverage.

“Enterprises considering sourcing of Wi-Fi services should actively investigate aggregation services because they provide some of the broadest coverage and the ability to bundle multiple remote access services,” said Chris Kozup, program director with META Group’s Technology Research Services.

“Careful consideration must be given to service provider viability, network coverage, service-level agreements, and service offerings.”

During the next two to three years, leading aggregators will have broad coverage of Class A and Class B hot spots leveraging incumbent Internet dial services to upsell Wi-Fi services.

Aggregators are enhancing their offerings through value-added services, including security, client customization, and bundling across a variety of access types, with extended service-level agreements and help desk support, says Meta.