Advanced Wireless Group Services
AWG operates public Wi-Fi under three separate business models; Paid, Hybrid and Complimentary. The traditional paid model requires users to pay for access; either via credit card or using subscription roaming credentials. However, AWG is equally comfortable offering Free Wi-Fi, which is supported by sponsors and advertisers, or a Hybrid service, where the user can choose between complimentary sponsor supported and premium paid service options. Unlike subscriber based providers that rely on monthly recurring user revenue to sustain their models, AWG operates as a true “neutral host” open to all revenue opportunities.
What is Hybrid?
The Hybrid model allows users to choose between complimentary and paid options which are defined by a difference in level of services between the two. There are several variables which can be used to differentiate the value of premium paid services over free services including bandwidth (speed), time, and a requirement to either pay or log in again for another complimentary session. The mixture of these variables has a significant impact on revenue which, of course, has to be balanced with the airport’s customer service philosophy. AWG today offers both a “Conservative” Hybrid model and an “Aggressive” Hybrid model which limits complimentary service and maximizes paid revenue opportunities.
Complimentary sessions will be offered for a limited period (typically 30 – 45 minutes) supported by Sponsorship and Advertising revenue programs. Longer session lengths will be available based on sponsor requirements. In order to gain access the user will be required to watch a thirty (30) second video or view an optional sponsored offer. At the venues option, complimentary sessions can be limited to either a single session after which the user is required to pay for additional time (Aggressive Hybrid) OR unlimited complimentary sessions where the user only has to watch another sponsor’s message to begin a new session (Conservative Hybrid).
The User Experience
AWG’s portal approach is unique to the industry in that we do not brand it primarily with our logo marks. The majority of the “electronic real estate” is provided for the airport’s use to deliver passengers information and promote campaigns relevant to their airport experience, with advertising supporting the experience. As more and more passengers take advantage of Wi-Fi the portal becomes a central touch-point for the airport to deliver its message. AWG brands and organizes the portal to the specific airport and therefore it becomes an extension of the airport marketing program and allows for dynamic live alerts and information to be presented to passengers.
Separate from the mobile portal, AWG has integrated a mobile device app which offers passengers relevant information on airport facilities and concessions. Unique to the AWG app is the additional enhancement of Location Based Services (LBS) which provides real time positioning of the user within the facility using the Wi-Fi infrastructure; effectively indoor GPS. This greatly enhances the user experience and accessibility to the facility and services.
Neutral Host Roaming and Cellular to Wi-Fi Handoff / Wholesale Carriage Revenue
AWG has operated a “neutral host” model at all venues, meaning that all roaming partners are welcome to access the network for wholesale roaming agreements under identical terms. The terms of those agreements offer volume incentives to provide larger companies an incentive to drive volumes. At the present time, AWG has several master roaming agreements in place which, in turn, serve over 30 sub-roaming partners.
Roaming has traditionally referred to Wi-Fi access for a laptop user and more recently evolved into mobile devices for Internet browsing. However, with the exponential growth in demand for bandwidth in the mobile device segment, fueled by high demand applications such as FaceTime and Skype, cellular carriers are finding their 3G services overrun and will soon see the same happen to 4G. This has created a market for the cell carriers to negotiate “wholesale carriage” agreements with Wi-Fi operators to automatically shift data, and often voice, traffic over to a partner Wi-Fi network. AWG negotiates carriage agreements both with carriers (i.e.: AT&T, Verizon, Sprint) and third party aggregators (i.e. iPass, WeRoam) which will further drive paid revenues to the venue; regardless of what variant of Hybrid model is in place. Furthermore, AWG maintains their neutral host position on these carriage agreements and welcomes all carriers and aggregators
AWG-WiFi Dedicated Internet Access / Private Networks
Agencies, tenants and concessionaires are always looking for reliable, low cost solutions for Internet access and linking branch locations together. AWG can provide these alternatives on the Wi-Fi network. In areas where it is time sensitive or cost prohibitive to extend traditional T1, DS3, DSL, or cable Internet, AWG can deliver, via AWG-WiFi, 1.5mbps to over 20mbps of dedicated Internet service. Additionally, private networks can be setup on the wireless network to link storefronts, kiosks, mobile scanners, buildings and offices together securely and economically.
AWG-WiFi Private/Enterprise Wi-Fi Operations
AWG is uniquely positioned in the market as an operator of private network applications at airports as may be available. For example, currently at Logan International Airport, AWG-WiFi supports over 15 private Wi-Fi user applications including concessions Internet access, airlines, Federal agencies and the Massachusetts State Police. AWG has operated these “mission critical” services since the inception of the network with a solid track record.