The Mobile Virtual Network Operator’s landscape is changing fast. The companies to watch that will change the landscape will be those that realize that “their community is their customer.” Firms who think this way about approaching their community, thinking through the values ‘shared and crowdsourced’ are Urban Airship, BMW and Facebook.
Traditional new entrants in the market like Ting, YourKarma, FreedomPOP, Republic Wireless and Netzero focus on offering mobile data and offloading to Wi-Fi while introducing the concept of social sharing. It is clear that their selling strategy is a cost model that focuses on online sales, social sharing and Wi-Fi. But how can they really compete against a Verizon or an AT&T offering when they primarily use the Sprint and Clearwire networks with all the implied consequences in terms of network availability and coverage?
One thing we have learned about building wireless data networks is that users, or even M2M applications, subscribe to a wireless network technology only if they can obtain really good coverage and a solid mobile data offering.
Everyone wants to be connected everywhere, the same as if they were at home. This is the reason Facebook is currently trying to give free Wi-Fi against check-ins. The check-in model certainly limits the use of these Wi-Fi hotspots as users always want to be seamlessly connected and of course, for free.
To succeed, all these MVNOs need to differentiate from even the underlying network. They need to become more independent, improve their coverage, user experience and data speed. They need a hybrid strategy to achieve their desired market expansion results. Hybrid means using 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi, but also using multiple carrier networks at once to provide a faster speed.
An MVNO combining Facebook social sharing features with the local Wi-Fi presence of Starbucks would most probably have a fast adoption and growth rate in the US market. It is certainly what all the new MVNOs are trying to achieve.
Open Garden is a network made of people and devices like smartphones, laptops and tablets. In essence, it is a virtual network that can sit on top of any carrier network, whether it is a cellular network (3G/4G) or a Wi-Fi network. It provides a faster network connection and extends the range of existing Wi-Fi networks and therefore provides stronger coverage, more opportunities to offload and savings on data costs.
Today, users normally access the Internet using only one path. For example, when your phone connects to Wi-Fi, it no longer uses its 4G connection; if you are in an area with multiple Wi-Fi hotspots, you only use one. Open Garden is introducing a way to access the Internet over multiple paths at once, improving speed, reliability, and also eliminating configuration choices. You will no longer need to decide how you connect since Open Garden dynamically connects using for you using multiple paths.
Access More Wi-Fi Hotspots
When there is no direct Internet connection, devices will access the Internet through chains of other devices. Again, if necessary, chains will grow to reach the Internet.
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