Is WiFi Calling a viable alternative… we really care which connection we use?


The expansion of Wi-Fi into hundreds of millions of private homes and offices around the world, the widespread deployment of public Wi-Fi hotspots and the growth of a vast and mature ecosystem built of thousands of devices has established Wi-Fi as the most heavily-used wireless technology in the world in terms of the volume of data transmitted.

The low cost of integrating Wi-Fi chipsets has made it a must-have feature in every smartphone that comes to market and a rapidly-growing number of data-centric feature phones.

Those are general facts, but what is more interesting is to look at basic needs of consumers and the current eco system. Billions have been invested in infrastructure from GSM (3G, 4G, 5G), cable to fibre and even satellite and still there is not a worldwide coverage and where we have good coverage we have congestion due to the tremendous amount of usage. In general not a problem the market is still in its infancy and offers a lot of room for growth and improvement. Be honest the last 20 years a lot of progress has been made from a phone with the size of a fridge towards an advanced computer tool, the smart phone. In that room for improvement there is coming a multichannel approach to service consumer needs to communicate. In very basic terms it is not very different than going to a restaurant and when paying the bill you can decide how you want to pay, can be cash, creditcard, mobile, vouchers and the consumer chooses what suits him or her best. With the multichannel approach of calling it is going the same direction. We are getting closer to an ecosystem, whereby the consumer actually is making a choice to use an internet connection or GSM for communicating depending on pricing or connection availability. It will be very interesting to see when the market understands that if they offer a loyalty program or special personalised offer to a consumer, the consumer is actually willing to stay in that ecosystem. From push to pull is my opinion it will go in the future. The infrastructure is becoming better and better and the consumer will be smarter to use the supplier who fulfils the needs and comes up with the best multichannel strategy.

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