Telecoms expert Intelligens Consulting is celebrating a momentous victory to provide policy advice to a major Scottish public body on the future of WiFi and 5G
Hot on the heels of a landmark win last month to support 5G use cases, telecoms expert Intelligens Consulting celebrating a momentous victory to provide policy advice to a major Scottish public body on the future of WiFi and 5G.
Indoor and outdoor Public WiFi initiatives were first popularised by the UK Government’s department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in 2013 as part of a wider initiative to improve broadband connectivity across UK cities.
A number of intervention options were developed to support the deployment of WiFi networks, namely: i) wireless concession contracts for the provision of outdoor WiFi using council street furniture, and ii) provision of indoor WiFi to public buildings such as museums, libraries etc.
Government grants were awarded to local authorities to subsidise the installation cost of deploying indoor WiFi to public buildings on the basis they could provide their deployment and evidence of supplier costs.
Iqbal Singh Bedi, Consulting Director and founder of Intelligens Consulting said, “While there are a number of benefits to public WiFi schemes the evidence suggests that, on the whole, outdoor public WiFi schemes in particular have been less successful than indoor public WiFi schemes”
Bedi, puts this down to a number of factors such as the challenge in monetising WiFi, the improved coverage of 4G networks, the declining cost of mobile services and the increase in mobile data allowances.
Bedi said, “Consequently, there is a notable shift to deploying outdoor small cell networks in preparation for 5G gradually replacing outdoor public WiFi deployments. It is likely that we will move to a situation where indoor public WiFi and outdoor 5G networks will soon complement and interwork each other, particularly with the rise of new standards such as OpenRoaming.”
It is hoped that this work will inform policy makers across Scotland on how to design future intervention programmes and complement other initiatives to improve the availability of digital connectivity to citizens, workers and visitors to Scotland.
This project seals Intelligens Consulting’s position as an expert advisor to policy makers on telecoms matters. In the past, Bedi has offered professional advice to the UK’s Prime Minister and Scotland’s First Minister on telecoms policy.