why investing in WiFi without Analytics is a bad idea
So you're going to have a new wifi infrastructure for your venue, a big effort in term of cabling, wireless devices, internet access, authentication, and so on...
But what's your return? Wifi access is a commodity nowadays, noone is going to thank you for that (I mean, your sales are not probably increasing for that, nor you'll have a special tripadvisor review).
You can definitely have a return indeed, we call them Analytics. If you're wise enough to add, on top of your wifi network, a good analysis platform (like Surfree), your investment is paying back by itself. Because the value behind the big data you will collect is huge.
wifi vs cellular networks in a crowded environment
Cellular networks are keeping on improving and getting faster, from 3G to LTE and beyond. Service providers offer bundled data in wireless contracts, so almost anyone carrying a smartphone potentially doesn't need wifi.
However, when we look at a crowded environment, like a shopping mall, or a stadium, or whatever busy venue, mobile data are still suffering from heavy congestion, leading to a very poor service.
Poor service means unhappy users, which will eventually go somewhere else because their Internet is not working properly.
Using a wifi network, with several cells distributed in the venue, we can support several thousands of concurrent users without signal decay, offering fast Internet access for a better customer engagement.
That being said, when looking at a Wifi CAPEX, that's a good reason to offer an alterative to 3G/4G
Why iBeacons love WiFi
Potential customers are facing the dilemma about what to choose in the rivality between Wifi and iBeacons. There are pros and cons on both solutions, lots of articles have been written about, but let's try and look at their duality as friendship and not as competition.
WiFi for Internet connection
When iBeacon needs to communicate to a cloud service, it will use the cellular data connection of the device and those connections can be slow and costly, therefore it is handy to move to WiFi.
Even when using the app, the engaged user needs to communicate to the same cloud service iBeacon uses. WiFi is better than 3g/LTE even here.
WiFi for better customer engagement
Not every mobile device is iBeacon ready, why not expoiting WiFi for those ones which are not? iBeacons work when there's a mobile app interacting, WiFi works whenever it detects a mobile device, no matter if using an app.
Surfree is working to marry iBeacon technology, stay tuned!
At least 82% of Italians between 14 and 74 years of age, that is about 38,6 million people, is connected to the Internet. More than 74% of them go online with both computers and mobile devices or with the only use of their smartphone or tablet or both.
Besides, more and more frequently we adopt always-on behaviors and we are constantly in search of apps and Wi-Fi connections. The customer experience is a cultural and social change that impacts on most of the business and it is the origin of the most important competitive advantages that can be acquired in the future. It is the most important part of what the "marketing" function should produce.
SurFree with its customer experience, its knowing the characteristics of the flow of visitors and their propensity to buy, becomes "the" critical success factor" of marketing of the Company.
Lots of rumors are around about the new Apple feature in iOS8, spoofing a fake MAC Address in order to protect privacy.
With this feature, your iphone is randomizing its MAC Address, using a reserved range (called locally administered), and changes it very often, so to prevent any form of user tracking.
Actually, getting MAC spoofing to work in practice requires very precise settings, which are luckyly limiting the real-world impact of the idea.
Both cellular data service and iOS’s Location Services must be off, which usually does not happen: turning off Location Services will disable the phone’s GPS and all the related functions, while switching off cellular data will limit any Internet access to Wi-Fi networks only. The feature is going to work on the iPhone 5s or newer, and iPad Minis also seem to be be missing the feature.
Moreover, the nature of the spoofing means it only works in sleep mode, so as soon as a phone's screen lights up, any protection from MAC spoofing is gone.
While it's true that the spoofing introduces a sort of entropy in collected data, Sufree takes into account this feature and normalizes results accordingly.
Surfree was also present at the EMC Forum 2014, held on November 18, 2014 at the MiCo - Milano Congressi. EMC2, one of the world leaders in the management of "BIG DATA" has chosen the Surfree solution for the event.
Leveraging existing infrastructure of the MiCo, it was possible to offer free wifi for the whole day, collecting valuable data during and after the event.
By processing the collected data, Surfree provided details on the number of participants and their movement within the MiCo areas during the various stages of the day, as well as an overview of their main activities (devices and apps used, most visited web sites...).
More information about the event is available on the emc2 website: Event Summary
Surfree sponsored the prestigious event of Pope Paul VI beatification, held Sunday October 19th 2014 in Milan, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.
In this occasion, the live Holy Mass, where Pope Francis beatified Pope Paul VI, was broadcasted in 4K from St. Peter's Square in Rome Surfree offered free wifi to everyone, monitoring people movement, dwelling and presence.