Venue Wi-Fi – a growth opportunity for operators
Venue Wi-Fi. People expect to get guest Wi-Fi at venues. Most venues already have Wi-Fi, but too often it’s only best-effort and doesn’t utilize the full business value of Venue Wi-Fi with user engagement and analytics. This is an opportunity for operators to replace the existing Wi-Fi service with a carrier-class one, creating opportunities for venues that go far beyond keeping visitors happy. Venue Wi-Fi is an opportunity for service providers to grow their business and sell additional services to B2B customers while gaining additional Wi-Fi footprint for their subscribers.
Aptilo SMP Venue Wi-Fi Manager™ (VWM) is designed with the service provider in mind. Our new multitenancy Captive Portal Management and
Analytics architecture combined with a modern state-of-the-art GUI and end-user marketing and engagement features, have only one purpose:
To make it effective and easy for service providers to roll-out B2B and B2B2C Wi-Fi services to venues and enterprises.
Aptilo Service Management Platform™ (SMP), powered with the new Aptilo Venue Wi-Fi (VWM) module, gives you one system to handle all Wi-Fi services. It features the right tools to provide a managed guest Wi-Fi service to venues and enterprises, and you can also enable the Carrier Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Offload and Wi-Fi Calling features in the Aptilo SMP if you so choose.
A true multitenancy Venue Wi-Fi platform
Aptilo Venue Wi-Fi Manager provides multitenancy support in its broadest sense. Not only can you run multiple B2B customers from the same scalable platform, you can also allow these customers to modify parts of the captive portals themselves even down to a single location.
Locations can be virtual in the sense that one physical location can have several location IDs. This is very practical for instance when you want to use different branding, product offerings and captive portals for different SSIDs with the same physical access points.
Location IDs can flexibly be defined using any or a combination of available information in the RADIUS or Diameter communication between Aptilo SMP and the traffic network such as SSID, AP MAC address, VLAN ID and IP subnet range.
Each location is placed in the zone tree. A zone can consist of any number of zones, and the zone tree always ends up in a location.
Structure your Venue Wi-Fi offering just like the real world
The nature of organizations and business types that wish to provide Wi-Fi to their customers are extremely varied. This is why the Aptilo Venue Wi-Fi Manager (VMW) provides a very flexible approach to organize all elements of the Wi-Fi service such as the location structure, product offerings, the available captive portals and the access rights of both administrators and end-users of the service.
The Aptilo Venue Wi-Fi Manager uses a hierarchical structure to represent the underlying organization of locations with a venue owner. For example, a coffee-shop chain may decide to represent its venue structure geographically starting with countries, then broad geographical regions and, finally, the individual physical coffee shops.
A hotel chain may have two overall types of facility: a ‘quality’ hotel chain and a ‘budget’ hotel chain. The overall hotel administrator can divide the hotels into “quality” and “budget” before assigning geographical regions and locations.
The zone concept of the Aptilo Venue Wi-Fi Manager supports all these cases. We simply mirror the structures just like they are in the real world. You may define as many levels in the zone tree as needed and each level can be different for each of your B2B customers.
Aptilo Venue Wi-Fi Manager administrators can assign sub-administrators with the same or less rights at, and below, their position in the zone tree. In this manner the Aptilo VWM can support both simple and complex administration requirements depending on the overall size of the business being served. It is also easy for you as an operator and for venue owners within their organizations to delegate administration rights to other people.
Scale your Venue Wi-Fi business – Give control to the venue
It has never been easier to scale your Venue Wi-Fi business. You decide what each venue is allowed to do and then the venue can for instance, fill the captive portals with content. The user interface is designed so that even non-technical administrators, such as B2B customers, can make precisely the portal changes and service offering selections you want them to. Changes can be previewed in the captive portal manager GUI prior to submission.
Want it all locked down? The flexibility in Aptilo Venue Wi-Fi Manager supports this scenario as well. The templates uploaded to the captive portal manager define exactly which objects should be editable in the GUI and which administrators are allowed to make modifications.
Creating Venue Wi-Fi service products
Administrators with the appropriate rights can define Wi-Fi service products in Aptilo VWM and make them available at one or many zones or locations in the zone tree. Parameters defined for a product include:
- Price in different currencies
- Text to display in different languages
- Initial credits (time or data)
- Valid from time
- Validity length in time
- Valid until time
- Account initially active or inactive
- Create MAC account for seamless reauthentication
- Max concurrent sessions per user
If the product needs a captive portal user experience, the correct captive portal matching the product is assigned to the same zone or location.
Managing end-users and their sessions
The end-users of the Venue Wi-Fi service can be provisioned by three separate mechanisms. An administrator can use the Aptilo Venue Wi-Fi Manager GUI to administer the users manually, Aptilo Service Management Platform (SMP) can integrate with existing CRM systems or the subscribers can be created by the captive portal itself.
Aptilo SMP supports a hierarchical account structure facilitating family accounts and/or multiple devices using the same data quota. End-users can be grouped together for easy identification and administration.
In addition to the ability to manage subscriber accounts, an administrator can also view live Wi-Fi sessions for a single subscriber or a group of subscribers and, for instance, use the GUI to provide customer assistance or force a session to terminate.
In the captive portal manager, the administrator can select the authentication and payment methods that have been made available in the template. The Aptilo SMP supports all authentication and payment methods there is including credit-card payments and social media logins.
With our REST APIs you’ll never be locked in
The very same REST-based APIs we are using for our new captive portal and analytics are also available to you. This means that you never have to be locked in. Do you want to integrate with an existing portal or leverage another portal framework? No problem just use our portal API. The same goes for our analytics: the aggregated reports can be provided over an API. We can even feed an external Big Data system with the “raw data” via CDRs.
Any gateway – any AP – any vendor
With our 100+ carrier Wi-Fi deployments, we dare to say that no one has integrated with so many different carrier-class gateways and access points as we have. Aptilo SMP features adaptations for leading enterprise- and carrier-grade gateways from vendors such as Alcatel Lucent, Aruba, Benu Networks, Cisco, Ericsson, Huawei and Ruckus Wireless.