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May 16, 2011
Free and paid WiFi hotspots continue to proliferate in coffee shops, restaurants, libraries, public settings and businesses. So how can service providers better manage and maybe even monetize all of those hotspots? PowerCloud Systems thinks it has the answer. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company has launched CloudCommand Hotspot Edition. The company claims CloudCommand Hotspot reduces the cost and complexity of providing WiFi guest access for a wide range of businesses. True believers include Amicus Data (a boutique managed services provider) and Amer Networks (an international OEM).
Amer Networks leverages CloudCommand Hotspot Edition across school district campuses to control Internet access by individual student, session duration and bandwidth usage. Amicus Data, meanwhile, has deployed CloudCommand Hotspot Edition for customers seeking its revenue-generating features and front desk interface. Amicus supports multiple small businesses and coffeehouses in the Portland, Ore., area.
According to a prepared statement from PowerCloud, the CloudCommand Hotspot Edition allows OEMs and service providers to:
Deploy commercial hotspots as simply as connecting a wireless access point;
Build revenue-generating service plans based on multiple parameters such as pricing, usage, time of access and bandwidth;
Process online credit-card payments with no setup required;
Simultaneously offer different hotspot service plans to different users;
Provide introductory, free service upgradable to paid options;
Limit user access by session duration and/or total bandwidth usage;
Deliver time-limited free access activated through text messaging; and
No doubt, WiFi hotspots are becoming ubiquitous in North America. But we’re curious to see how paid WiFi services hold up as big retailers like Starbucks and McDonalds offer free WiFi to customers.
Additional insights from Joe Panettieri. Sign up for MSPmentor’s Weekly Enewsletter, Webcasts and Resource Center. Follow us via RSS,Facebook, Identi.ca and Twitter. Check out more MSP voices at www.MSPtweet.com. Read our editorial disclosure here.
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