Trustive’s Blog

News from a leading, international WiFi hotspot access provider

Archive for June, 2013

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 

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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.

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