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#BizTrends2017: Wi-Fi ushering in the era of South African connectivity

Connectivity is all around us. Whether it is fixed-line, mobile, or wireless, South African business users and consumers have embraced the benefits that this data access provides them and examining some of the Wi-Fi trends that are making this technology a key driver in changing the local communications landscape is critical.
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Hotspot 2.0


This evolution of the traditional hotspot technology promises a way for users to connect automatically to available Wi-Fi networks wherever they go. Sure, Wi-Fi hotspots have become pervasive around the country but it is a lengthy process to find the right network, logging in to it through a portal, and re-entering credentials multiple times.

Hotspot 2.0 makes this process as simplistic as cellular roaming. So just as a cell phone will automatically find a roaming partner network and securely connect to it, so too will it find a wireless one. The security and authentication happens in the background so people can enjoy the benefits of a seamless wireless experience focusing on what they need to do and not on how to connect to a network.

OpenG


Building on this more efficient way of connecting to wireless hotspots is the growing popularity of OpenG technology. This complements wireless and cellular technology as it addresses the pressing concern of ‘dead zones’, areas without any coverage, inside buildings.

We have all experienced being on a mobile call only to have it dropped when we reach such a spot inside an office park or a tall building. OpenG technology addresses this by providing companies with a network agnostic solution that supports all mobile networks that is easy to deploy and significantly improves in-building performance.

IoT with NFC


By now, you have encountered articles promising the benefits of an Internet of Things (IoT) world. For the uninitiated, IoT translates to connecting things to the internet. In other words, this is not only smartphones, tablets, and laptops, but televisions, fridges, washing machines, cars, and anything else you can think of like clothes, watches, and shoes.

We are starting to see more providers develop near field communication (NFC) solutions to capitalise on the IoT trend. This makes the process of connecting devices to each other much easier and intuitive without requiring users to access complicated menus or authentication processes. Combining NFC with IoT is seeing a ubiquitously connected world becoming a reality. Soon, users will not have to worry about how they are connected but instead just how they can benefit from this connectivity.

Clearly, we have reached a tipping point when it comes to universal access to the internet. Irrespective of the technology used, consumers and businesses are finding new ways to not only benefit from this, but to also provide innovative solutions for themselves and customers. Wi-Fi will be a fundamental component in this journey and offer new ways to securely and conveniently connect. Here’s to a new era of connectivity!

About Riaan Graham

Riaan Graham is the sales director for Ruckus, sub-Saharan Africa.
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