Trustive’s Blog

News from a leading, international WiFi hotspot access provider

Innovative new technology enables European MVNOs to embrace low-cost WiFi

Posted by Trustive on November 28, 2013

“Always best connected” paradigm is revolutionary technology that provides intelligent network management and truly seamless cellular and WiFi connectivity to end-users on the go.

 

WiFi has always been an anomaly within the networking industry; WiFi provides a key service, utilizing a worldwide standard, with no expensive license. As a result, the WiFi hotspot industry has grown with both large-scale operators and small providers sharing the same market space but without any formal coordination; which has led to a shortfall in roaming and interoperability functionalities. 

In recent years, the importance of WiFi has been reinforced by the huge uptake of smartphones and other mobile devices, which have profoundly changed the scenario of applications and services which users now expect to fully experience on the go. With mobile data traffic forecast to grow exponentially, Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) now need to juggle these heightened customer expectations with network performance; cellular (3G) data roaming services are frequently congested, renowned for being of poorer quality and more expensive than WiFi services. However, seamless integration between WiFi and cellular networks is not yet widely available. 

Guglielmo has developed a sophisticated algorithm, named WISE, which can resolve the issue of seamless connectivity to both WiFi and cellular networks. The WISE technology can be embedded into any MNO’s or MVNO’s Android application. The algorithm then collects data from the network in order to form a full picture of the “context” in which the mobile device is operating (e.g. its position, service availability and device’s current usage). By constantly re-evaluating the context in which a mobile device is operating, this “Always best connected” algorithm is able to determine which is the most suitable network that is currently available, the best network for the future and also calculates the optimum moment to handover from one network to another. 

On top of this context analysis, the algorithm also manages the WiFi authentication process, using data stored on the end-user’s SIM card, thereby avoiding any other manual log in procedures and rendering the switch from WiFi to cellular networks completely seamless for the end-user. 

“The true advantage of the “Always best connected” algorithm is its innate simplicity in terms of integration, effectiveness and ease of usage for the end-user. Quick and easy to install with little or no cost in terms of software and infrastructure, MNOs and MVNOs can roll out this innovative solution in a few short weeks” – says Giovanni Guerri, Guglielmo CEO.

Now MVNOs can benefit twice fold, by not only giving their end-users the advantages of WiFi in parallel to their existing cellular services but also in terms of lower roaming costs.  

Several MVNOs adopted this technology in 2013, with very encouraging results both in terms of network performance (data offloading) and customer satisfaction. A recent cooperation with Trustive, Europe’s No1 WiFi access provider, has demonstrated its power with a deployment over more than 100,000 access points across Europe in just a few weeks, combining 3G and WiFi in a truly seamless and secured way. 

“As an aggregator working with more than 80 operators, Trustive is very sensitive about the need to provide seamless, quick and quality mobile internet access to travelers worldwide, whilst simultaneously keeping technical deployment and maintenance costs to a minimum” says Christian VanGhelder, Managing Director at Trustive. “By integrating the “Always best connected” solution into part of our European network we have been able to offer, in just a few weeks, a truly transparent and automatic access to both cellular and WiFi networks for travellers with Android smartphones, without having to touch any of the 100,000 access points included in this project. With this innovation, Trustive can now roll out this capability across its 700,000 premium sites worldwide quickly and without any modification to the millions of individual access points spread across these sites.”

Guglielmo is one of the leading wireless Internet service providers in Italy and has a network consisting of over 12,000 access points and over 2 million users registered by means of its very own LUMEN platform. Guglielmo owes its name to the founders’ wish to pay a well-deserved tribute to the physicist from Bologna, Guglielmo Marconi, inventor of radio waves and the father of telecommunications. As well as its standard activities of service provider, Guglielmo is also very active in R&D. www.guglielmo.biz

Trustive is No 1 in Europe and a leading international WiFi premium hotspot access provider, giving travellers extensive WiFi coverage by combining the hotspot locations of more than 80+ leading WiFi operators into one unified, global network of over 700,000 premium WiFi hotspots in 130+ countries. www.trustive.com

Posted in General industry news | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Posted by Trustive on October 21, 2013

Roam on Trustive WiFi when travelling in the UK!

Trustive, Europe’s leading WiFi access provider, continues to extend its international footprint in Singapore, USA, UK, Brazil & Malaysia and will soon offer WiFi access at 700,000 premium hotspots in 130 countries.

Travellers continue to rely on WiFi for internet access on the go and according to the last European Commission report on WiFi, 78% of mobile data traffic will be supported by WiFi in the near future.

Trustive, Europe’s leading WiFi access provider at premium sites, has also verified this trend on its own WiFi network. Since the beginning of the year, Trustive WiFi traffic has doubled, with the transfer of the business world from PCs to smartphones and tablets. This transfer is also correlated to the type of activity. In previous years that were marked by the use of PCs, email and Voice over IP accounted for over 80 % of usage. Today, email represents less than 20 % of traffic, giving way to video streaming and social networks.

Trustive’s current footprint extension incorporates selected prime new sites in regions that are popular with travellers. That is why in recent months Trustive’s network has been extended in England, Asia and Brazil and, in the coming months, will be extended in Singapore, Malaysia and across several major business cities in the U.S.A, including 20 international airports, 30,000 bars/restaurants, 5,000 shopping centres and many more premium venues.

“Trustive’s approach is different from the “crowd sourcing” employed by domestic operators, whereby a portion of customers’ domestic DSL boxes’ bandwidth is used to offload 3G data traffic from their own networks. Trustive is focusing on airports, hotels, bars and restaurants, bus and train stations, shopping centres, convention centres and outdoor-citywide networks in the most visited towns and cities. For those premium sites, network operators are identified, validated and secure interconnects set-up. Users can then be identified and authorized in accordance with the restrictions and legal requirements. A 24/7 support service for users and round the clock monitoring of the quality of service enables Trustive to constantly adjust and improve its network; on some hotspots hundreds of simultaneous users are recorded!” said Christian VanGhelder, managing director of Trustive.

For travellers using Android smartphones and tablets, access to Trustive’s global WiFi network can be done in a completely seamless way, with the immediate identification of and automatic connection to Trustive WiFi hotspots using “Trustive WiFi”; a free app available on the Play Store.

Travellers needing internet on the go should visit http://www.trustive.com before they leave home!

Posted in International WiFi access coverage updates | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Trustive announces major UK network expansion across 15,000 premium hotspots

Posted by Trustive on September 12, 2013

Roam on Trustive WiFi when travelling in the UK!

Europe’s No1 WiFi operator offers seamless and secure WiFi access to a further 15,000 premium UK hotspots.

Trustive, a leading international WiFi access provider and No1 in Europe, is pleased to be able to announce another major extension to its international WiFi network with the addition of 15,000 premium UK hotspots. This expansion includes 11,000 bar/restaurants, 2000 shopping centres, 250 outdoor/city-wide locations and many more key sites besides.

Trustive works tirelessly with local operators in order to ensure that only quality locations are incorporated into Trustive’s global WiFi footprint and this most recent UK network expansion includes 15,000 premium hotspots that fully support Trustive’s highest standards to ensure seamless, secure and high-speed WiFi access for Trustive’s community of travellers.

Crucially for travellers, Trustive offers extensive WiFi coverage in 130 countries, mainly focused in Europe, Asia and Latin America, and travellers can benefit from seamless access to this premium WiFi network via a range of free “Trustive WiFi” apps for smartphones and tablets (Android and iPhones/iPads) and connection software for laptops (Windows, Macs and Netbooks), which detect and provide seamless connectivity to Trustive WiFi hotspots. Trustive also provides customers with the tools to manage their WiFi usage effectively, including a range of prepaid WiFi passes, online account management tools for budget control and a secure web browser to provide additional security when required.

Full details of Trustive’s international WiFi hotspot network (which includes 500,000 premium locations worldwide) are available via Trustive’s online hotspot directory: http://www.trustive.com/hotspots/.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

In support of the EU initiative to review roaming costs, Trustive launches the “Full Access Europe Pass” offering voice, SMS & mobile internet (WiFi & 3G) access services.

Posted by Trustive on July 5, 2013

The “Full Access Europe” service is a highly competitive new service, enabling travellers in Europe to save up to 85% on roaming costs.

Trustive Full access Europe pass, call, sms & surf in Europe

The “Full Access Europe” pass is the result of close cooperation between TravelSim, Guglielmo and Trustive, three of Europe’s leading operators. Now available exclusively via Trustive’s website (www.trustive.com), the “Full Access Europe” pass is a fully prepaid service with a clear pricing plan, which also offers travellers savings of up to 85% on their roaming costs.

The “Full Access Europe” pass is a prepaid package that includes free incoming calls & free incoming SMSs from 135 countries and free incoming calls for Skype users. In Europe, outgoing calls cost just 19 euro cents per minute & outgoing SMS’s 8 euro cents and 3G data costs 39 euro cents per MB. In addition, secured, free & unlimited WiFi will be provided at 10,000 premium hotspots in Europe, which will be easy to find with the Easy2Roam app’s embedded locator.

Combining a SIM card with a free application, Easy2Roam (for Android smartphones), the “Full Access Europe” pass is both easy and secure because it’s the data stored on the SIM card that is used to provide automatic user authentication to both cellular and WiFi networks. There is, therefore, no need to enter any password or perform any kind of manual sign up procedure.

At the moment, travellers are advised to “switch off data roaming” as they travel in order to avoid prohibitive bills from their domestic operator upon their return. It is up to the individual traveller to find WiFi hotspots, which is not always easy or convenient with local portal venues in different languages and having to provide credit card details each time. Alternatively, travellers can opt for the challenging task of sourcing local SIM cards for each country they visit so that they can continue to use their smartphones on the road; this option is also time consuming or impossible in many countries. 

“At Trustive, we’ve been trying to address this issue for a number of years now. We prefer “prepaid” solutions that provide online balance information in real-time, so that travellers can avoid the bad surprises associated with subscription models. Trustive has aggregated 80+ premium WiFi operators into one unified and secured network. With the new “Full Access Europe” pass, we aim to offer truly transparent and automatic access to both cellular and WiFi networks for anyone travelling in Europe using a “SIM unlocked” or dual SIM Android smartphone. We believe that our pricing model is also pointing the way for savings and simplification” said Christian VanGhelder, managing director of Trustive.

“Full Access Europe” – one SIM card and one prepaid account for Android smartphones – is all travellers now need to stay in touch with business colleagues, friends and family and to save money. For more information, please visit www.trustive.com

Posted in General news from Trustive | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

TravelSim, Guglielmo & Trustive: Three of Europe’s leading operators join forces to provide an innovative solution for seamless cellular & WiFi connectivity for travellers in Europe.

Posted by Trustive on June 25, 2013

TravelSim, Guglielmo & Trustive launch the “Full Access Europe Pass” offering voice, SMS & mobile internet (WiFi & 3G) access services. Highly competitive, this new service also enables travellers in Europe to save up to 85% on roaming costs.

Coming soon: call, text & surf around Europe with Trustive's Full Access Europe Pass

Coming soon: call, text & surf around Europe with Trustive’s Full Access Europe Pass

TravelSim, Guglielmo and Trustive, three of Europe’s leading operators, have signed an important agreement which aims to strengthen the historical collaboration between these companies. Their aim is to offer truly transparent and automatic access to both cellular and WiFi networks for all users travelling in Europe using a “SIM unlocked”* or dual SIM Android smartphone for voice, SMS, mobile data and WiFi internet access.

The object of this agreement envisages the distribution of a combined SIM card and of a free application, Easy2Roam, for Android smartphones. The data stored on the SIM card will be used to provide immediate user authentication to both cellular and WiFi networks, thereby guaranteeing maximum speed of access, without the need to enter any password or perform any kind of manual sign up procedure.

Available from July 2013 via Trustive’s website (www.trustive.com), the “Full Access Europe pass” is a fully prepaid service with a clear pricing plan, which also offers travellers savings of up to 85% on their roaming costs. The “Full Access Europe pass” will include free incoming calls & SMSs from 135 countries and free calls for Skype users. Outgoing calls & outgoing SMSs will be priced aggressively as will as 3G data access in Europe. In addition, secured, free & unlimited WiFi will be provided at 10,000 premium hotspots in Europe, which will be easy to find with Easy2Roam’s embedded locator.

TravelSim, Guglielmo and Trustive’s goals are aligned to offer viable alternatives to expensive 3G roaming packages through easy to use solutions aimed at business and leisure travellers alike. Every year hundreds of millions of visitors travel to Europe for business or leisure and mobile internet access using the traditional mobile phone network is proving increasingly limited due to the high international roaming fees applied to such services. What this initiative sets out to do, is offer an effective answer to what has now become an extremely widespread need.

Easy2Roam is a free application, powered by Guglielmo, with effective cloud network selection logic that includes a patented SIM-based user authentication system. This combination enables the application to automatically overcome what has always been the real limit in accessing heterogeneous and international wireless networks, a limitation that is particularly pronounced in Europe where the heterogeneity of networks is even more marked. The application also includes a “hotspot finder”, integrated with gmaps, so that the user can find the nearest WiFi network available and makes it possible to select “friendly” WiFi networks for automatically connecting up to the home or company network as well, thus overcoming the limits imposed by the operating system installed on the user’s handheld device.

 “This new authentication process probably represents the most innovative development we have dealt with over the last few years, because it significantly improves user experience and connection reliability,” says Giovanni Guerri, CEO of Guglielmo. “The most significant feature is the extraordinary capacity to perform authentication on a WiFi network using the active connection, thus opening a completely revolutionary scenario in terms of performance.”  

Christian Vanghelder, MD at Trustive, declares: “As commuters ourselves, we look at innovation to support the need to communicate and stay in touch with our business, our family and friends. In this initiative, we have been able to integrate the best of what we found around the world with the Android Smartphone capabilities (Dual Sim or Sim unlocked), an aggressive and efficient Voice and data service from Travel Sim using international Sim card, the Sim Card authentication innovation for both 3G and WiFi developed by Guglielmo, and our WiFi footprint and integration capabilities and support. Now we can now provide a true seamless access, improve the security and best price combining offer from the three partners.” 

After the launch of an initially European-focussed service, this program may be extended to Latin America to support the major events planned there over the next few years. It is hoped that this initiative will “point the way” for mobile operators to go faster in the deployment of new offers, using their existing Sim cards as the key for simplification and security.

Guglielmo is one of the leading wireless Internet service providers in Italy and has a network consisting of over 12,000 access points and over 2 million users registered by means of its very own LUMEN platform. Guglielmo owes its name to the founders’ wish to pay a well-deserved tribute to the physicist from Bologna, Guglielmo Marconi, inventor of radio waves and the father of telecommunications. www.guglielmo.biz

Trustive is No 1 in Europe, leading international WiFi premium hotspot access provider and gives travellers extensive WiFi coverage by combining the hotspot locations of  more than 80+ leading WiFi operators into one unified, global network of over 500,000 premium WiFi hotspots in 130+ countries. www.trustive.com

TravelSim is the world’s leader in international prepaid roaming with over 3.2 million users worldwide. TravelSim works in over 190 countries and offers exceptionally low call rates and free incoming calls in over 135 countries providing the answer to the question “how to call cheaply from abroad”. TravelSim is a registered trademark of Top Connect Ltd. www.travelsim.com 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

The Growth in WiFi & The Growing Importance of Hotspot Quality Versus Quantity

Posted by Trustive on June 4, 2013

When WiFi hotspots first started being deployed, the priority was hospitality venues (bars and restaurants, hotels etc.) where WiFi was marketed as an, often free, value added service. The growing appetite for data consumption, which is a result of the popularity of smartphones and tablets combined with the developing online culture, is stimulating interest at new types of venues from visitor attractions, museums and event venues, who are looking for a means of informing the public, to petrol stations, retail outlets and supermarkets who are looking for innovative ways to promote brands or products using videos, QR codes and/or location services.

In fact, the number of WiFi hotspots is set to more than triple by 2015 from 1.3 million in 2011, to 5.8 million by 2015, a 350% increase, according to research published by the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA).

In 2012 Trustive increased its WiFi network by adding another 200,000 premium WiFi hotspots in Europe, Brazil and China. This represents an increase of 60% and brings Trustive’s footprint to a total of 500,000 premium hotspots in 130 countries.

It is worth noting that Trustive does not include local household hotspots in its database (e.g. private hotspots where a separate WiFi channel is maintained by the operator for use by any of their customers who happen to be passing). Doing so can enable operators to advertise vast WiFi networks and theoretically be used as a means of offloading part of their domestic mobile traffic, but in reality such policies often simply result in confusion for users on the ground. Indeed, for the international commuters who make 340 million roaming trips each year, such hotspots are of little help.

Trustive’s priorities are:
• to integrate with hotspots in the most popular destinations worldwide,
• to prioritise premium venues such as hotels, conference centres, airports & urban hot zones,
• to provide a minimum level of secured access for commuters,
• to effectively manage Trustive’s 80+ partner operators in order to ensure the expected service level is maintained.

During 2012, Trustive’s traffic was concentrated in Europe (65%, which is normal for the number one WiFi operator in Europe!), but Latin America witnessed significant growth with 30% of Trustive’s overall traffic; the remainder was concentrated in Asia. In terms of venue popularity, 70% of Trustive sessions took place in hotels and convention centres where commuters regularly connected for more than three hours at a time and exchanged up to 12-14GB of data. 10% of sessions took place in airports and other travel hubs.

The evolution of WiFi
Trustive believes that the role of WiFi is evolving and moving away from simply being part of the hospitality business. Smartphones have become an open door to the world for consumers but in parallel, provide businesses with a direct link to active consumers. For example, in many cities public advertising is highly regulated and increasingly costly and Trustive is working with many retail brands, who are looking to use WiFi to communicate with consumers present in their immediate vicinity, either via the consumers own devices or via central displays.

Trustive also considers the involvement of local authorities to be very important in the evolution of the WiFi ecosystem. Local authorities are beginning to understand the importance of connectivity for visitors and are subsequently investing in the expansion of local WiFi networks, the installation of urban hot zones and the creation of connected cities. WiFi is also becoming an integral feature at event venues (such as stadiums) and its importance is also being recognised by some major operators who now incorporate it into their macro network strategy.

Managing WiFi access
Of course, with the consumer’s appetite for data consumption accelerating, WiFi access at premium venues has to be managed effectively and proactively. A best effort model is no longer enough, nor is it sufficient to advertise “free WiFi access” and then decide it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t work because it’s free. In the near future, any space where people meet, even for short periods, will become a prime candidate for truly high-speed WiFi access services and businesses will be obliged to provide WiFi access for their customers.

WiFi carriers will have to respond in kind, evolving in order to provide a variety of business models above and beyond the traditional debate of free versus paid models. The costs associated with providing and managing a quality WiFi service can be supported via one the following options:
• The venue owner, who will then pass on this cost in the local service (coffee, meal, ticket or room charge etc.)
• The end user, who will purchase access upfront
• Sponsorship or advertisements
• A combination of these models

The abundance of WiFi hotspots should not in any way detract from the difficulty associated with accessing hotspots in Asia, Europe or Latin America due to multiple portal designs in different languages and the local implementation and interpretation of standards.

Seamless access which simplifies the user experience through a single and secure login for multiple devices, cost and budget control are all clear requirements addressed to Trustive and to mobile operators, to be fulfilled through clear a roaming plan and simple tools to connect.

In conclusion, Trustive believes that this momentum for roaming opportunities will continue to accelerate in the short to medium term due to:
• The expansion of WiFi into new venues, such as premium retail brands and visitor attractions.
• A world of devices where WiFi is the common denominator (your 3G smartphone is probably not compatible with 4G but all devices have WiFi).
• The improvement and automation of the WiFi user’s experience by using SIM card identification to access WiFi services abroad and across multiple operators.

However, in order to be considered a true “hot zone” and thereby preserve the credibility of the venue itself (and/or the WiFi operator), it is imperative that the basic WiFi service supplied be one of high quality.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Beyond the 4G Slogan, is WiFi a Necessary Evil or a True Opportunity for Mobile Operators?

Posted by Trustive on May 30, 2013

  • Few operators will spend the billions required to deploy 4G despite many areas suffering with poor coverage and network saturation due to high density of users.
  • Broadband will continue to be deployed providing high speed services, using fibre optics or satellite.
  • WiFi remains the cheapest mobile broadband access solution for travellers.

 

The iPhone revolutionised the mobile market and instigated a major shift towards mobile data consumption. In fact, a recent survey predicts that mobile data traffic will reach 16.84 million terabytes by 2014 but 3G was never designed to handle this level of data traffic.

Mobile operators are therefore seeking an alternative to 3G and are looking for capital to invest in 4G spectrum and the associated transformation of their infrastructure (more than 10 billion USD was invested in 2012*); the 4G war was started by few leading companies with disputes around patents and new contracts for subscribers as operators look to increase ARPU (Average Revenue Per User). However, some operators intend to manage the impact of this growth primarily through new pricing strategies and WiFi-based offload solutions; some operators have already offloaded 50% of their data traffic onto WiFi networks.

In 2012, Trustive integrated a further 200,000 premium WiFi hotspots into its own network, bringing the network total to 500,000 WiFi hotspots in 130 countries.

A recent Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) survey revealed that mobile data growth is a key factor in the build-out of WiFi hotspots and predicted that the number of WiFi hotspots set to more than triple from 1.3 million in 2011 to 5.8 million by 2015, marking a 350 percent increase. The growth in WiFi hotspots will primarily be in locations such as: Outdoor, urban hot zones, popular tourist attractions (museums, attraction parks), transportation hubs, events (stadiums) and supermarkets.

As billions will be spent on obtaining and retaining domestic customers, there is some doubt about how closely operators will cooperate in order to provide competitive data plans for 3G or 4G access for commuters during their international travels. According to the aforementioned WBA report, there are 340 million roaming trips per year and people now use up to 3 devices (versus 1 device previously), mainly smartphones, notebooks and tablets.

Trustive records a clear split in usage: laptops/notebooks 50%, smartphones 45% & tablets 5%.

The need for high speed mobile internet access is exploding but, when travelling abroad, commuters are advised by their mobile operators to turn off data roaming on their smartphones and tablets.

However, commuters still want and need to access their favourite applications in order to stay in touch with colleagues, friends and family. Applications such as Skype and Fring can offer travellers significant savings compared to the cost of paying to make and receive calls and messages via a domestic mobile operator for example. Commuters also want to share photos and videos with their social networks in real-time and to be able to access their e-mails at a reasonable cost.

If 3G data roaming services are restricted or impractical, then travellers will naturally turn to a familiar alternative that is viable: WiFi.

The number of commuters who make use of WiFi currently numbers just a few hundred thousand and the average length of a Trustive WiFi session in 2012 was around 50 minutes. Whilst the average data exchange was 70MB per WiFi session, the heaviest sessions involved data exchanges of 12GB to 14GB. Whilst extreme by current standards, Trustive considers such sessions to be indicative of how the users’ growing appetite for data consumption will transform WiFi in the future.

OTT and other leading internet companies understand the importance of mobile broadband for their future survival and growth and it is for this reason that Google, Facebook, Skype and others are making strategic movements into this arena. Based on Trustive’s experience of working with some of these players, there is no doubt that they are very serious about responding to commuters’ need to stay connected. However, operators are still missing a significant opportunity to extend their mobile offering. By responding to customer demand and adding WiFi roaming capabilities to their portfolio, operators would be monetizing the opportunity that exists within the WiFi ecosystem and retaining customer loyalty.

Unfortunately, signing and implementing WiFi roaming agreements is not always as simple as it should be for operators, due to a lack of common understanding of the associated technical specifications and the complex processes, interfaces, internal organisations and subcommittees (etc.) employed by operators to reach, implement and manage multiple roaming agreements.

For internet experts, the “RADIUS world” is pretty simple, with an architecture that allows for fast integration and implementation; new inter-connects can be up and running within a few weeks or months even. However, due to the above-mentioned complexities, this same inter-connect process may take years for some operators.

In order to integrate WiFi roaming capabilities into a global plan, operators should consider:
– connection software / applications to provide seamless access
– network integration
– billing & settlement systems
By taking care of the above elements and improving backend systems to achieve smooth interoperability with the WiFi carrier and maximise cost control, operators can ensure that they provide a seamless, user-friendly service that commuters will come to rely on.

 

In conclusion, commuters have already expressed a clear need for high-speed, low-cost mobile internet access and their appetite for data consumption is only going to increase in the coming years. International WiFi networks, like Trustive’s, can fulfil this need and be employed by mobile operators to complement and complete their 3G/4G deployments, alleviate existing 3G network saturation issues as well as offer a means of proactively managing commuters’ accelerating data consumption in the years to come, and thereby support the 340 million roaming trips made each year.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

GOOD NEWS FOR COMMUTERS: MOBILE DATA INNOVATION WITH A CLOUD BASED NETWORK SELECTION AND SIM AUTHENTICATION

Posted by Trustive on May 28, 2013

Leading operators join forces to bring an innovative solution for Android smartphone users for seamless, secured connectivity as they travel in Europe, providing major savings & full budget control.

Guglielmo and Trustive, two of Europe’s leading operators, have signed an important agreement, which aims to strengthen the historical collaboration between these companies and enable them to offer truly transparent and automatic access to both cellular and WiFi networks for all users travelling in Europe using a “SIM unlocked”* or dual SIM Android smartphone for voice, SMS, mobile data and WiFi access.

The object of the agreement envisages the distribution of a combined SIM card and a free application for Android smartphones, which provides seamless authentication using purely the SIM card data, thereby guaranteeing complete user identification, total privacy and maximum speed of access, without the need to enter a password or perform any kind of manual sign up procedure.

The partners’ goals are aligned to offer viable alternatives to expensive 3G roaming packages through easy to use solutions aimed at business and leisure travellers for comprehensive data communications using WiFi and cost-effective voice communications whilst they are on the move.

Initial testing has started and proved very successfully in France and Italy. Every year France and Italy welcome over 130 million visitors, travelling on business or leisure, and mobile Internet access using the mobile phone network is proving increasingly more limited due to the high international roaming fees applied. In this context, WiFi is the ideal tool for overcoming these limitations, as long as access availability is extremely widespread and above all if network access is practical and efficient.

What this initiative sets out to do is offer an effective answer to what has now become an extremely widespread need.

Guglielmo and Trustive have over 7,000 premium sites (over 30,000 access points) distributed throughout France and Italy which users will be able to connect to by simply using their SIM card as an automatic authentication tool, emulating, in each and every way, access to the mobile phone network.

In recent years, the huge explosion in the smartphone market and the forecasted exponential growth in mobile traffic have profoundly changed the scenario of applications and services which can be fully experienced whilst on the move, making WiFi a key part of the mobile infrastructure.

In an attempt to manage the issues involved in a fully seamless integration between WiFi and cellular networks, main standardization boards are currently working to define guidelines and protocols for WiFi network implementation. This process has proven to be somewhat confusing because the various organizations and standardisation boards are all focusing on similar problems while pursuing different solutions. Furthermore, the lack of compliance for these standards on network elements (mobile terminals, access points, controllers, etc.) makes the transition to new standards extremely difficult.

The free application for Android smartphones has an effective Cloud Based Network Selection logic and includes a patented SIM-based user authentication, thus overcoming what has always been the real limit in accessing heterogeneous wireless networks. In particular this limitation is even more pronounced in Europe where the heterogeneity of networks is even more marked. The application also includes a “hotspot finder”, integrated with gmaps, so that the user can find the nearest WiFi network available and also makes it possible to select “friendly” WiFi networks for automatic connection (e.g. home and company networks), thus overcoming the limits imposed by the operating system installed on the user’s handheld device.

“This new authentication process probably represents the most innovative development we have dealt with over the last few years, because it significantly improves user experience and connection reliability,” says Giovanni Guerri, CEO of Guglielmo. “The most significant feature is the extraordinary capacity to perform authentication on a WiFi network using the active connection, thus opening a completely revolutionary scenario in terms of performance.”

Christian Vanghelder, MD at Trustive, stated “as commuters ourselves, we look at innovation to support the need to communicate and stay in touch with our business, our family and friends. The Android smartphone and OTT services have revolutionised the way we communicate. But we still face confusing data plans, high costs/restrictions and complex authentication models in order to access the internet abroad. Along with SIM Card authentication for both 3G and WiFi, we can now provide truly seamless access and improve security and all this at a competitive price by combining offers from our long term partners. We are happy to launch this initiative, combining our experience and expertise to facilitate and secure access for commuters.”

Guglielmo and Trustive are planning to launch a commercial offer in France and Italy this summer and, according to customer feedback, may extend this program across the rest of Europe thereafter.

In the current market there is still a lot of room for innovation and Guglielmo and Trustive expect this initiative to point the way forward for mobile operators, encouraging the speedy deployment of new, simplified offers, using SIM cards as the key for simplification and security. At the moment 340 million roaming trips are looking for a solution!

Guglielmo is one of the leading wireless Internet service providers in Italy and has a network consisting of over 12,000 access points and over 2 million users registered by means of its very own LUMEN platform. Guglielmo owes its name to the founders’ wish to pay a well-deserved tribute to the physicist from Bologna, Guglielmo Marconi, inventor of radio waves and the father of telecommunications. As well as its standard activities of service provider, Guglielmo is also very active in R&D.

Trustive is No 1 in Europe and a leading international WiFi premium hotspot access provider, giving travellers extensive WiFi coverage by combining the hotspot locations of more than 80+ leading WiFi operators into one unified, global network of over 500,000 premium WiFi hotspots in 130+ countries. Trustive is a member of the Wireless Broadband Alliance.

* “SIM Unlocked” smartphone is a smartphone accepting any SIM and not linked to a specific operator

Posted in General industry news | Leave a Comment »

2012 COMMUTER PROFILE AND MOBILE DATA CHOICES

Posted by Trustive on May 14, 2013

  • Just a few hundred thousand commuters rely on WiFi today, but the number of potential roamers numbers 340 million according to the Wireless Broadband Alliance’s last report.
  • Continued trend towards multiple devices with an average of 3 devices per user.
  • Shift from laptop usage towards a reliance on smartphones (45%), laptops and notebooks (50%) and tablets (5%)
  • New usage patterns show a move away from traditional emails and surfing towards cloud computing, VoIP and conference calling (Skype), video streaming, online applications and the real-time sharing of photos and videos with online communities, particularly via GoPro or smartphones (using WiFi).
  • Higher speed broadband access is essential for new devices and in particular more upstream bandwidth is needed to facilitate the sharing of photos and videos in real-time during events.
  • WiFi access with its inherent speed, security and cost manageability is the only alternative to restrictive 3G services: network saturation in crowded areas or at peak times, lack of 3G/4G coverage and lack of acceptable international data plans.

Traffic and devices

Trustive’s network traffic has increased by 100% between 2011 and 2012, whilst its WiFi footprint has increased by 60% to include 500,000 premium hotspots in 130 countries. In 2012, Trustive’s traffic was concentrated in Europe (65%) and Latin America (30%). This significant increase in traffic is the result of:

1.)   Evolution of mobile usage from voice centric to data centric

With mobile usage evolving away from voice and towards data traffic, Trustive continues to see increases in WiFi usage, particularly in Europe where consumers are plagued by 3G data plan restrictions, saturated networks and high prices.

Trustive aims to provide travellers with premium WiFi coverage whenever and wherever they need it in order to offer a viable mobile internet data access solution. Trustive therefore plans to concentrate on developing its premium WiFi network in Latin America and particularly in Brazil (in preparation for the upcoming 2014 Football World Cup and the Olympic Games in 2016) as well as to optimise its existing European network.

2.)   Multiple devices become the norm and commuters grow to rely more on smartphones (45%) and tablets (5%).

In previous years, Trustive has responded to customer demand by allowing customers to use their WiFi passes on multiple devices. Pre 2010, the norm was one device, usually a laptop. In 2012 Trustive observed a significant evolution in usage with an average of 3 devices per user, a pattern which has also been observed by some of our partners. In 2012, commuters travelled with smartphones (45%), laptops/notebooks (50%) and tablets (5%).

Usage pattern

There is strong interest from the OTT (Over The Top) companies such as Skype, Facebook, YouTube and others for viable mobile data and WiFi solutions. Some of these applications are banned by operators when you travel. Skype calls or video communications are possible via WiFi at very low costs, which is appropriate when you are far away. With the rise of WebRTC, which allows voice and video calling directly from browser to browser, another boost in traffic is a real possibility.

As people are becoming more and more addicted to mobile data (through their apps and social networks) and the concept of “Bring Your Own Device” grows in popularity, WiFi usage now reflects a real mix of business and leisure activities. Emails are just one aspect of a spectrum that now includes video streaming, social networks, online games, Skype conference calls, and now the uploading of photos and/or videos to share in real-time on the net, particularly during events.

The average length of a WiFi session in 2012 was around 50 minutes with an average exchange of 70MB per session.  On one side, Trustive witnessed the average Skype session lasting just 12 minutes, with an average data exchange of 11MB. On the other hand, WiFi usage in some of Trustive’s hotel venues, where video streaming is of course very popular, could easily register 300MB in just 10 minutes. In fact, Trustive’s hotel venues alone have seen a jump in the average data consumption per session between 2011 and 2012 of 68%.

At the most extreme end of the scale, Trustive has recorded WiFi sessions ranging from 2 to more than 7 hours, with a data exchange of 12 to 14GB per session. Such sessions were observed at premium Trustive hotspots (mainly hotels and conference centres) where location, high speed broadband, security and quality management are key. Whilst extreme by current standards, Trustive considers such sessions to be indicative of how the users’ growing appetite for data consumption will transform WiFi in the future.

Imagine the price of such 3G data sessions abroad!

During 2012, commuters downloaded an average of 60MB per session and uploaded an average of 10MB. However, the trend to share photos and/or videos with friends in real-time via social networks is changing this pattern already.

It is relatively easy to foresee the balance of traffic in the short to medium term, with serious increases in the uploading of data (due to the sharing of photos and videos during events for example); similar observations have been reported during the Super Bowl and the London Olympics. Trustive has great presence and traffic in Brazil and therefore expects to see serious growth in this region during the upcoming Football World Cup and Olympic games.

Lessons learned from 3G

Cellular networks offer seamless access, generally good coverage and handover.  However when it comes to low density or high density areas, users face issues such as lack of coverage or saturation of bandwidth.

In central London or central Paris, it is common for users to gravitate towards bars or cafés in order to take advantage of their WiFi access because the 3G network is saturated. In the countryside there is the EDGE signal but then users face the same issue.

In addition, commuters worry about their data plans. They have been briefed by domestic operators to conscientiously switch off their smartphones’ data roaming capabilities the moment they cross the border in order to avoid outrageous international data roaming prices and subsequently, the nasty surprise of an expensive invoice upon their return home.

Economic pressure is forcing commuters to travel more and further afield in order to find new customers. The shift towards smartphones, tablets and accessing data in the “cloud” implies a need for more bandwidth at a reasonable cost and budget control wherever the commuter may be.

The reality is that mobile costs are significant. A trip may combine costs for access via multiple devices, involve domestic and/or international mobile data plans, the purchase of WiFi day passes at the different venues and travel hubs visited, all of which will be charged at different rates and potentially in different currencies. On top of the associated costs, there are several barriers to the adoption of public WiFi hotspots, such as authentication procedures, discovery of available networks and security. One UK operator recently reported that only 20% of its users access the free public hotspots available to them.

WiFi growth and the associated challenges

According to Informa Telecoms and media, the number of WiFi hotspots in public areas is set to more than triple by 2015, to reach a predicted 5.8 million.

The abundance of WiFi hotspots should not in any way detract from the difficulty associated with accessing hotspots in Asia and Europe due to multiple portal designs in different languages and the local implementation and interpretation of standards.

Seamless access which simplifies the user experience through a single and secure login for multiple devices, cost and budget control are all clear requirements addressed to Trustive and to mobile operators, to be fulfilled through clear a roaming plan and simple tools to connect.

This is why Trustive considers roaming to be a true opportunity in the immediate future. Although there are 340 million roaming trips per year, the number of users that make use of international WiFi is in the region of a few hundred thousand. This constitutes a major missed monetization opportunity for the present WiFi ecosystem.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Taking Advantage of the “WiFi Effect”, Trustive Launches its First Photo Competition, “All around the world with Trustive: Cities & People” to Encourage its Community to Share their Travel Experiences.

Posted by Trustive on March 11, 2013

 

Trustive community members are invited to post their “All around the world with Trustive: Cities & People” photographs, taken at any Trustive city WiFi hotspot in the world, on Trustive’s Facebook page before 15th April 2013 for a chance to win a prize.

Trustive airport WiFi in BrazilDuring major events, business and leisure travellers are sharing photos and videos, taking advantage of their WiFi enabled devices (smartphone, tablet, new camera or “GoPro” WiFi edition). They rely on WiFi access (cheaper and faster than 3G) to share Hot Spots with friends and family.

 

Trustive, a leading international WiFi access provider, has therefore launched its first “All around the world with Trustive” photo competition in order to encourage the Trustive community to share their travel experiences. The current theme is “Cities & People” and Trustive community members are invited to post pictures of themselves at any Trustive city WiFi hotspot on Trustive’s facebook page for a chance to win a prize. Winners will be selected after the closing date, 15th April 2013, in partnership with the photography studio, Abracadbra Studios.

 

Trustive’s international WiFi network currently includes 500,000 premium WiFi hotspots located in 130 countries, mainly focused in Europe, Asia, Latin America and South Africa, and travellers can benefit from seamless access to this premium WiFi network via a range of free “Trustive WiFi” apps for smartphones and tablets (Android and iPhones/iPads) and connection software for laptops (Windows, Macs and Netbooks), which detect and provide seamless connectivity to Trustive WiFi hotspots. Trustive also provides customers with the tools to manage their WiFi usage effectively, including a range of prepaid and subscription WiFi passes, online account management tools for budget control and a secure web browser to provide additional security when required.

 

Full details of Trustive’s international, premium WiFi hotspot network are available via Trustive’s online hotspot directory.

For more information about this photo competition, please visit: http://www.trustive.com/pages/photo-competition-03-2013/

 

About Trustive

Trustive provides travellers with comprehensive WiFi coverage by combining the hotspot locations of more than 80+ leading WiFi operators into one unified, global network of 500,000+ WiFi hotspots in 130 countries and allowing customers to access these locations through a single click.

As a member of the WBA (Wireless Broadband Alliance), leading the WiFi ecosystem, Trustive is proposing its WiFi roaming services to operators wishing to achieve a seamless, secure, low-cost data access solution around the world.

For more information about Trustive, please visit http://www.trustive.com.
If you are an operator, please visit: http://www.trustive.com/operators/

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 110 other followers