Wi-Fi researchGlobal Carrier Wi-Fi equipment revenue will grow to reach $8 billion by 2019 as wireless network operators roll out Hotspot 2.0 and next-generation Wi-Fi hotspots to provide mobile broadband Internet connectivity, according to a new report from ABI Research.

More than 12 networks worldwide have deployed next-gen Wi-Fi Hotspot technology as the international standardization process has picked up pace, according to ABI’s “Carrier Wi-Fi Market Research”. Cisco and Ruckus are benefiting most, according to ABI, though Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia and Ericsson are also principal players in the market.

Voice over Wi-Fi
“Mobile operators have been turning to Wi-Fi for voice support in addition to data, which further increases the value of public hotspots,” ABI points out in a press release. That includes AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile, all of which are offering Wi-Fi calling services or plan to do so in 2015.

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Asia-Pacific is home to the greatest number of Wi-Fi hotspots though their number continues to grow in Europe and North America. MSOs including Comcast are promoting their public hotspot networks, which now number in the millions “thanks to switching on the dual-access feature in their massive home gateway deployments,” ABI notes.

“This is a cost-effective way to increase public network coverage and add value for customers while also market a bigger network to attract new businesses and customers,” ABI Research Analyst Ahmed Ali commented.

“While the evolving role of Wi-Fi encourages mobile operators to invest more in their Wi-Fi networks, it also attracts other types of operators like MSOs, Wi-Fi aggregators, and even Muni-Fi network operators to profit from the market through roaming and Wi-Fi-as-a-Service deals,” Ali added.

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