The Perfect Combo – Wi-Fi Security and Smooth Wi-Fi/Cellular Bonding
By Ira Stern, MOBOLIZE | Senior Director, Solutions Engineering
There are perfect combos in the world. Combos that make life easier (mobile devices and Spotify), more enjoyable (movies and popcorn), safer (Batman and Robin), or make things work better (internet and a high-speed network.) Or taste better – dare I say turkey and dressing this week? Perhaps Black Friday and shopping for extra fun?
For mobile operators, that perfect combo can be a challenge to find. Phone plus unlimited service (for a limited time)? Internet service plus a credit card? Unlimited service plus throttling after xxGB if the network is busy? And when is it not busy? Amazon Prime plus Amazon Echo? Talk to me baby.
It’s a challenge to find the right combination of what is attractive to users and works well for mobile operators. Fun stuff is fun but can get old fast (Oh, I have to pay the credit card bill?) And some offers sound good but provide challenges for operators to smoothly run the network in a profitable way. (When streaming one movie uses 1 to 3 gigabytes per hour, the “unlimited” plan is used up fast before throttling happens.)
Here’s a combo that is attractive to customers by offering something they need and is a big help to operators in managing networks. It’s a combination of smart Wi-Fi security and a bonding system that allows users to easily stay connected as they move between Wi-Fi and cellular networks.
For bonding, the operator advantage is that users can be connected to Wi-Fi in a Wi-Fi first strategy yet keeps them happy when they need to seamlessly switch to a cellular network as they move from place to place. It takes users out of what is called dead zones where the mobile device hangs onto a Wi-Fi network past it’s use area and won’t switch to cellular. The internet connection hangs, not allowing GPS to update or the Uber app request to go through. Customers receive better performance and operators can control costs.
Security is a growing concern for mobile users. It has been reported by Check Point that 100% of mobile devices used in business settings are exposed to malware and cyberattacks in varying degrees. Symantec reports a 54% increase of new mobile malware variants, or malicious programs. That means important information such as personal email, bank accounts or financial information can be stolen. The problem with traditional VPN solutions is they’re always on, even when the user is not on a Wi-Fi network, which drains precious battery juice. They also encrypt everything, which doesn’t allow access to that already encrypted Netflix movie. It’s called “breaking apps” which is Breaking Bad.
What is needed for Wi-Fi security is a SmartVPN® that turns on and off when the user moves in and out of Wi-Fi, saving battery life, and one that encrypts only sites that are un-encrypted. That way Netflix doesn’t think the user is out of region because it doesn’t recognize the newly encrypted URL and block access.
Another operator advantage – operators can reduce costs by offloading to Wi-Fi more often because customers know their data is safe there. That’s great for roaming or Unlimited plans.
The combo of security and seamless bonding can become differentiating products that attract and keep customers longer. Value exchange is a very real concept for customers. If they feel they are getting something out of the relationship (in this case Wi-Fi security), it becomes real in the form of higher customer satisfaction (C-Sat) scores, less churn and higher customer lifetime value (CLV). Real incentives for customer loyalty.
The combo is also a real opportunity for operators to better manage their networks.
Oh, Mobolize is the only company offering these on-device the SmartVPN® and Bond solutions. Mobolize and mobile operators. Another great combo.