Many generations and updates to Wi-Fi technology have entered the market, but there’s none like Orion Wireless.
Designed from Google’s in-house incubator for experimental projects, Area 120, Orion was developed to help cellular service providers improve cellular coverage in venues where it may be limited. Now public venues like offices, coffee shops, stories within malls, and stadiums can be part of a marketplace that sells Wi-Fi capacity to these carriers so that visitors have a better, more connected experience.
Take, for example a customer named Alice who walks into a mall.
Alice is taking pictures and videos with her friends and uploading them to social media. She Facetimes her parents. This is all through her cellular coverage. She walks into a coffee shop where she uses the brand’s mobile application to claim a coupon. The problem is that cellular coverage isn’t available because the store is nestled in an area of the mall that is more congested. She can’t pull up the coupon. She decides to use the coffee shop’s Wi-Fi but is presented with a list of SSIDs and networks. She asks the barista which network is the right one for guests and what the password is. She then has to sign terms and conditions. Meanwhile, there’s a line of people building behind her.
With coffee finally in hand, Alice and her friends walk over to the next store. This store also has a mobile application for finding products and receiving discounts. But now, the Wi-Fi from the coffee shop doesn’t reach this store, and cellular coverage is still limited. Alice wants to use the coupon so she can get the appropriate clothing for her new internship. This means she and all her friends must go through the same process of identifying the right network, adding the right password, and signing terms to join the new Wi-Fi network. The poor, disconnected experience continues for the remainder of their time in the mall.
This is where the brilliance of Orion Wi-Fi comes into play.
Orion makes it as simple as walking on premise for a user to access a guest Wi-Fi network. This means our main character from the story above can walk around the mall accessing multiple stores’ Wi-Fi networks without having to connect manually.
This is because Orion automatically connects and authenticates user devices to stores’ wireless networks when users have already downloaded the Orion Wireless certificate onto their devices. Wi-Fi network providers (i.e., the coffee shop or stores within a mall, stadium or other facility) that have enabled Orion technology on their network automatically register Orion Wireless certifications and authenticate it to the Wi-Fi network.
The benefit to the customer is that they can easily and automatically access Wi-Fi where cellular coverage may be poor or where users may require faster bandwidth for their applications.
The benefit to the wireless network provider is that they can monetize the bandwidth that people use, charging it to cellular service providers.
Is Orion Wireless Right for My Business?
Is Orion a capability your IT team should enable onto your network?
Here are just a few indicators that Orion Wi-Fi is right for your business.
1. There’s foot traffic in- and outside your business.
Like in the scenario described in the beginning of this article, there’s benefit in adding Orion Wi-Fi to your network when people come-and-go from your business. Guests aren’t going to take up time trying to find your guest network and password because they’ll be automatically authenticated when they enter the geo-location of your network.
Even better, you’re going to receive payment from cellular providers when guests use your Wi-Fi. This additional stream of income can go to supporting your IT staff and network.
2. Employees, partners, or students are onsite.
Perhaps your business doesn’t attract public foot traffic like malls or stadiums, but your employees or students are onsite. As mentioned in the first article in this series, people often stream videos and use applications that require strong bandwidth or cellular network access during their work breaks. Campus students definitely do.
Unless you have specific network restrictions in place that prohibits them from doing so, people are going to use your Wi-Fi network for personal use. So, why not generate some revenue along the way by using Orion?
Another benefit is that people who can connect with friends and family, check social media or stream a quick video or podcast are also more likely to stay on-premise longer.
3. Vendors or other businesses are located on your premises.
Do you manage a venue, mall, stadium, airport, coworking facility or other facility where other businesses offer products and services?
Adding Orion to your network should be considered because now you can monetize your guest Wi-Fi network.
Also consider encouraging the vendors within your facility to adopt Orion wireless because doing so will provide a better Wi-Fi experience to customers and visitors who come onsite. This means they’ll stay longer to shop, stream videos of the concert, and support the businesses at your establishment.
4. Your network’s IT infrastructure makes it simple to add and manage Orion.
Other than deciding your marketplace price for cellular providers to offer your Wi-Fi network to customers, adding and managing Orion capabilities should be as easy as flipping a switch. Unfortunately, that’s not the case with all network infrastructure. Read more in our next article how Juniper Mist makes it easy to deploy Orion Wireless.
Come back for the next article in this series, What CIOs Need to Know About Adding Orion Wireless to Network Capabilities.
This article is the second in our Orion Wireless series. If you haven’t read the first article, How to Simplify and Monetize Guest Wi-Fi Access, you can read it here.
Coming up next in this series are:
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