Global Wholesale

BT Wi-fi Roam – ‘Growing and Evolving’ – by Gordon Cannon, Head of Global IP Exchange, BT


03 August 2016

Global Wholesale

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It is an exciting time for BT Wi-fi Roam, the platform continues to grow and in June, the platform had its highest ever usage. In ten months since the Service launch, use of the wi-fi networks connected to the platform has grown fivefold and indications are that the growth will continue.

By the end of the summer, following successful trials, two new benefits will be on offer to our customers:

Initially we will be allowing 4G mobile operator customers the ability to reuse their existing diameter authentication systems to control their end users access to visiting wi-fi networks.

This will shortly be followed by offering mobile operators, the ability to home route the end user data traffic back from the visited wi-fi network, which will allow mobile operators to manage their end user quality of experience much as they do in current cellular roaming. Both of these will be firsts in this part of the wi-fi industry.

The benefits of these two developments let mobile operators to re-use their own existing infrastructure, processes and capabilities to provide an enhanced user experience. In addition, the ability to manage the data flow allows operators to be able to market and control pre-paid customers, something that has been hard to achieve previously.

All of this is against a backdrop of new research which reveals the same. Mobile traffic offloaded to other networks exceeded cellular traffic, with 51% offloaded through wi-fi / small cells, as per Cisco VNI report (May 2016). In addition, it is forecasted by Juniper research (June 2016) that within two years, wi-fi networks will carry almost 60% of smartphone and tablet usage.

All of the above also has to take into context that despite perceived travel issues, global number of people travelling internationally rose again by 4% for the fifth year in succession, and visiting the UK grew even faster up over 6%, with over 36 million individuals coming in the last year.

Therefore, BT Wi-fi Roam is continuing to grow and evolve to meet the needs of the mobile traveller, by providing to their service providers good quality wi-fi access, which can be consolidated into comprehensive value rich retail packages.

Several of my team members will be visiting your regions in the coming months. You can meet them at conferences like Asian Carriers Conference in Cebu; Wholesale World Congress in Madrid; Carriers World, Broadband World Forum and MVNO Networking Congress in London; GSMA WAS#4 event in Dublin; Capacity Europe in Paris; and LTE Africa/Africacom in Cape Town. We would love to discuss how BT can support you for a better cellular roaming experience for your end customers.

To schedule a meeting, please write to us or contact your account manager.


Gordon Cannon
Head of Global IP Exchange, BT