A Closer Look Into The world of Wi-Fi Monetization!

The monetizing WiFi scene is swiftly changing. Previously Wifi was treated as a luxury and you expected to pay for it. But as times change WiFi is more often seen as an essential commodity such as water, electricity, etc than an indulgence. Nowadays the availability of WiFi in public spaces such as Airports, Hotels, Restaurants, Cafes, etc is not only expected but it’s expected to be free of charge as well.

This shift in the paradigm created a complication for venues that previously charged consumers for access to Wifi and viewed it as a stream of income. Now their steady revenue was turning into a new expense.

They had been used to a Pay-to-Use WiFi model where, the owner would ask the customers to pay when then want to access the web. There was a time limit or a MB limit payment design in place in order to avail internet services. But with the new wave of customers expecting free wireless service and being displeased with the Pay-to-Use model, most providers were forced to abandon this traditional business model.

This implored them to venture into other ways to monetize WiFi services while still keeping up with the customer expectations of free of charge wireless availability. The revenue earning by a venue from charging for WiFi was shared with WiFi operators as well. So to stay relevant with all these changes in the trade, the wireless operators have had to alter their business models accordingly.

Some places have divided the distribution of WiFi into a tier structure.

Listed here are some of these models that serve as a somewhat direct approach to monetize WiFi –

  • The Freemium Model

This model offer free Wifi to the customers but only up to a certain time or MB limit. Once they cross that threshold of internet usage, they are required to pay in order to continue browsing the web. While this model still holds components of the traditional business model, it works well enough for all parties involved.

This kind of business model can be seen at Public spaces such as Airports, Hotels, etc.

  • The WiFi Upgrade Model

In this model the wireless service is only free at a certain bandwidth speed to the general consumer and if someone wants to browse the web on a higher bandwidth speed they have to pay a certain upgrade amount. With the implementation of this system the providers are providing free WiFi but charging for better quality.

This model is usually run in business centres or hotels where customers requiring higher bandwidth speed for business purposes may pay for the fee for such. Whereas, general guest may still remain connected and enjoy browsing at a slower speed.

Even though the above mentioned business models do provide free WiFi services, they’re not as popular with the customers. This is because of various factors such as poor quality of service that most providers opt for with their free portion of service and also because they are still holding on to a part of the traditional direct monetizing approach that the customers see right through and do not appreciate.

So what to do now? If you can’t charge people any money directly how can you monetize this service? Well the venue owners and service providers have figured out a way to achieve this.
This is when the Indirect approach of Monetizing WiFi come to the rescue. Although you technically do not pay for WiFi through the indirect models, you still pay in means of personal data.

Some of these Indirect models are explained below-

  • Captive Promotions Model

In Captive Promotions model the customers are asked to log in through their social media Ids, Phone numbers or some other form of authenticated log in to use the WiFi on the premises. This allows the venue to send notifications of discounts, offers, schemes, events, etc available on the premise.
This way the customers are providing us with their demographic data. Through this In-house ads can be used to accelerate sales with limited time offers appearing in the customers notifications.

The consumer pays for the WiFi with the invaluable data they provide, Data which then can be used to categorize and segregate the customers based on different parameters. This data can also be stored for future reference.

  • Third-Party Promotions Model

This model is quite similar to the above mentioned Captive Promotions Model, except the adverts and promotions are not in house but instead are sourced from third parties which pay for the ad space.

This could additionally involve proximity promotions whereby organizations and businesses around push their promotions to close by customers in big public venues. These targeted customers will then be notified of the promotions through methods like geo tagging or geo fencing.

This business model for monetizing WiFi is by far the most popular choice amongst customers and providers alike. OmniWi Networks Solutions Pride themselves in providing excellent services to customers and garnering a unique and diverse pool of people viewing their ad spaces constantly. Brands are given a unique demographic to advertise to. This promotes the brand across a wide population and accumulates more consumer interest.