Venue Wi-Fi – a Growth Opportunity for Operators
Venue Wi-Fi. People expect to get guest Wi-Fi at venues. Most venues and businesses already offer Wi-Fi, but too often, it’s only based on best effort and doesn’t utilize the full business value of guest Wi-Fi with marketing for user engagement and analytics. This is an opportunity for operators to replace an existing Wi-Fi service with a carrier-class one, creating opportunities for venues and businesses far beyond keeping visitors happy. Guest Wi-Fi is also an opportunity for service providers to grow their business and sell other types of services to B2B customers while gaining an additional Wi-Fi footprint for their subscribers.
We have designed the Enea Aptilo SMP Venue Wi-Fi Manager (VWM) with the service provider in mind. Our multitenancy captive portal management and Wi-Fi 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 businesses.
The Enea Aptilo Service Management Platform™ (SMP), powered with the 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 and Wi-Fi Offload features in the Aptilo SMP if you so choose.
Don’t want want to operate your own managed guest Wi-Fi service? Then, let Enea’s experts run the platform for you. The full functionality of Enea Aptilo SMP and VWM, tailored to your needs, is available on Amazon AWS through Enea Aptilo SMP as a Service.
You can always move into in-house operation at a later stage.
Service Providers and businesses that want to fast-track their deployments with our Guest Wi-Fi best practices with limited integration and customization options may go for the Enea Aptilo Guest Wi-Fi Cloud instead.
Don’t miss to explore Enea Aptilo Wi-Fi SMP and all its functions.
Enea Aptilo SMP Venue Wi-Fi Manager (VWM)
A True Multitenancy Venue Wi-Fi Platform
Enea Aptilo Venue Wi-Fi Manager provides multitenancy support in its broadest sense. You can run all your B2B customers from the same scalable platform, allowing them to modify parts of the captive portals themselves and utilize analytics and marketing features, even down to a single location.
Locations can be virtual because 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 combination of the 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 sub-zones, and the zone tree always ends up in a location.
Structure Your Venue Wi-Fi Just Like the Real World
The nature of organizations and business types that wish to provide guest Wi-Fi to their customers are extremely varied. This is why the Enea Aptilo Venue Wi-Fi Manager (VMW) provides a very flexible approach to organizing all elements, such as the location structure, product offerings, the available captive portals, and the access rights of both administrators (role-based) and end-users of the service.
The VWM uses a hierarchical structure to represent the underlying organization of locations with a business customer. For example, a coffee-shop chain may define its location 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 primary administrator can divide the hotels into “quality” and “budget” before assigning geographical regions and locations to sub-administrators.
The zone concept of the VWM 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 your B2B customers.
The VWM administrators can assign sub-administrators with the same or fewer rights at and below their position in the zone tree. In this manner, the 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 business owners within their organizations to delegate role-based administration rights to others.
Scale Your Venue Wi-Fi Business – Give Control to the Customer
It has never been easier to scale your managed guest Wi-Fi business. You decide what each business customer is allowed to do, and then they 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 easily make the portal changes and service offering selections you allow them to. Administrators can preview changes in the captive portal manager GUI before submission. Want it all locked down? The flexibility in Enea Aptilo Venue Wi-Fi Manager (VWM) also supports this scenario. The templates uploaded to the captive portal manager define which objects should be editable in the GUI and which administrators are allowed to make modifications.
Offer Corporate Wi-Fi and LAN Services through B2B Customers
Service providers do not have to stop with guest Wi-Fi services. With the Enea Aptilo VWM Virtual Service Provider option, they can transform their business customers (B2B) into virtual service providers. Business customers can then offer corporate Wi-Fi and LAN Services to their own customers on the service provider’s IT infrastructure. This is a highly scalable and profitable way to reach the mass market of small businesses (90% have less than 20 employees) with a managed corporate Wi-Fi and LAN service.
Creating Wi-Fi Services
Administrators with the appropriate role can define Wi-Fi service products in VWM and make them available at one or many zones or locations in the zone tree. Parameters specified for a product include:
- Price in different currencies
- Text to display in various languages
- Initial credits (time or data)
- Valid from time
- Validity length in time
- Valid until time
- Whether the account should initially be active or inactive
- Create a MAC account for seamless re-authentication
- 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
Three separate mechanisms can provision the end-users of the guest Wi-Fi service:
- The captive portal can dynamically create subscribers.
- An administrator can use the Enea Aptilo SMP Venue Wi-Fi Manager (VWM)GUI to administer the users manually.
- The Enea Aptilo SMP (software) or SMP-S (service on AWS) can integrate with existing CRM/PMS systems.
The Enea Aptilo SMP supports a hierarchical account structure facilitating family accounts where multiple devices can use the same data quota. End-users can be grouped 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 commonly used authentication and payment methods, including credit-card payments and social media logins.
With Our REST APIs, You’ll Never Be Locked In
The same REST-based APIs we use for our captive portal and Wi-Fi analytics are also available to you. This means that you never will 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 also 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 Aruba, Benu, CommScope (Ruckus), Cisco, Cisco Meraki, Ericsson, Huawei, and Nokia.
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