Some of the top trends within the Wi-Fi space to look out for in the next 12 months involve Wi-Fi managed services, Hotspot 2.0 and increasing support for 802.11ac.
Ruckus Wireless director of service provider/carrier marketing, Steve Hratko, outlined his top Wi-Fi trends for carriers and service providers.
Hratko said moving into the Wi-Fi managed services market will help service providers generate incremental revenue, improve customer relationships, upsell other services and add new offerings such as an LTE small cell service from MNOs.
Network virtualisation functions will continue to sweep through the WLAN industry and Wi-Fi calling will take prominence thanks to support from Apple, potentially killing off the femtocell market.
Hratko said 2015 will also be the year that will see large scale Hotspot 2.0 roaming consortiums begin to form, primarily around large cable MSOs and 802.11ac Wave 2 will also become the next Wi-Fi standard for service providers that introduces multi-user multiple input and output, allowing a Wi-Fi access point to talk to more than one user at a time. Home spots will also become a standard offering from wireline providers and the LTE small cell market will also continue to slowly develop as the industry grapples with who pays for indoor deployments.
Hratko said most of the excitement around LTE small cells has focused on the indoor market as that is where the people are, but the economics point toward venues having to pay for these deployments.
"That seems unlikely without a neutral host LTE small cell," he said.
The vendor's enterprise product marketing senior manager, Salah Nassar, also drew up his top five predictions for the Wi-Fi enterprise space.
At number one was the drive to support 802.11ac, which has become quite common in the consumer market thanks to smart devices. The continued growth of BYOD is also forcing companies to migrate to 11ac supported Wi-Fi infrastructure.
Next up was monetising the WLAN. More companies have the option to add services such as analytics, location, advertising, and marketing as new forms of monetisation. Nassar said these services can greatly benefit the organisation or business to better understand basic things such as WLAN trends, customer movement, and demographics.
Cutting costs in Data Centres by reducing real estate and facilities expenses continues to drive virtualisation demand. IT also lowers the CAPEX for many technologies, paving the way for managed services. Cloud computing will also continue to provide value added resellers with the ability to provide wireless services for customers, Nassar said.
Hotspot 2.0 based technology will also continue to be adopted by vertical markets such as hospitality and transport industries, giving more customers the ability to securely roam on Wi-Fi networks.