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South Africa Is Joining the Wi-Fi RevolutionPosted by stuartt Jul 10, 2012I was at the Cisco Mobility Summit in South Africa recently to discuss the local relevance of the findingsof our Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) survey of mobile phone users. This uniqueresearch has a particular focus on consumers’ use of—and perspectives on—Wi-Fi and mobility. If youhaven’t read about the findings in my “Wi-Fi Goes Public” and “A New Type of Mobility” blogs, the keysentiment is that people are starting to expect ubiquitous, always-on wireless access for all of theirmobile devices.The Wi-Fi market in South Africa is still emerging, with limited public hotspots provided by smallercompanies. Given the tremendous mobile-data demand projected for South Africa, most of thelocal service providers are very interested in rolling out Wi-Fi, with many already conducting trials ordeveloping strategies and implementation plans. With the South African public becoming used toaccessing public Wi-Fi from hotels, restaurants, coffee shops, and the like, traditional mobile providersare realizing that they can recapture relationships with customers who are now using differentcompanies for alternative mobile access.In fact, service providers and mobile operators in the country agree with our findings and are seeingsimilar trends in South Africa, where more people are using nomadic devices such as tablets andeReaders that almost exclusively connect to the Internet through Wi-Fi. Cisco IBSG predicts that in manydeveloped countries, not only will “Wi-Fi-enabled nomadic” be the fastest-growing device category, butthat, on average, smartphones will use Wi-Fi 50 percent of the time to connect to the Internet.We predict that there will be a “land grab” by service providers and mobile operators in South Africa toacquire key strategic locations for public hotspots. There are already numerous opportunities for service
providers to drive real value from Wi-Fi in terms of managed services, customer retention, and newmonetization models.Given the huge variations in demographics and usage in South Africa compared to many other countries,Wi-Fi strategy and evolution will vary significantly throughout the country. Service providers andoperators will therefore need to have the appropriate plans and infrastructure in place to meet growingcustomer demand for reliable and fast mobile connectivity.Download the studyAbout the AuthorStuart Taylors further industry research, insights, and perspectives can be found in his blog “TheConnected Life”Follow Stuart Taylor on Twitter: @STaylorCisco For more discussion on everything mobile, visit the Service Provider Mobility Community at www.cisco.com/go/mobilitycommunity.