Smartphones to drive installation of Wi-Fi infrastructure – WAPA

Smartphones to drive installation of Wi-Fi infrastructure – WAPA

The South African market will see the introduction of very affordable low-end smartphones during 2014 resulting in the widespread installation of Wi-Fi infrastructure, according to predictions by the Wireless Access Providers’ Association (WAPA).

Wider use of smartphone technology will fuel “the installation of Wi-Fi networks designed to do more than just provide basic connectivity”, the industry body said, while the proliferation of smartphones will also be driven by mobile operators leasing or subsidising products through contracts.

According to an Effective Measure report, the percentage of South Africans accessing the internet over ADSL dropped sharply over the last year to 41 per cent from 52 per cent, while the percentage accessing the internet over Wi-Fi grew to 34 per cent from 28 per cent, a trend WAPA expects to continue.

“New software solutions coming onto the market in 2014 will… allow consumers to access local content and offers easily through the use of smartphone location in an intelligent Wi-Fi network,” WAPA said.

“From WhatsApp and the big marketing push from Tencent’s WeChat this year, software companies will continue to introduce smartphone applications that deliver additional content over a data connection.”

HumanIPO reported last month the WAPA and Wireless Broadband Alliance had joined forces to host a series of webinars, hoping to drive the development of Wi-Fi in South Africa.

“Recent predictions from industry analysts point towards 2014 being a breakthrough year for Wi-Fi in South Africa, as some of the larger telecommunications providers move towards providing connectivity via Wi-Fi or mobile data ‘offload’ in public areas, such as transport hubs and shopping centres,” the WAPA said in an earlier statement.

Image courtesy of Shuttershock


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