Single digit growth

Single Digits plans to revamp the wireless hot spot business model in the Middle East with its Hotspot Management Software (HMS).

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By  Simon Duddy Published  June 16, 2004

Single Digits has debuted its Hotspot Management Software (HMS) in the region, claiming that it will help the company to create a business model that empowers individual organisations to become the hot spot owner and administrator, showcasing their specific brand on their terms with the flexibility to change the pricing structure to a variety of scenarios. The Single Digits solution allows the hotspot adopter to become the sites’ administrator and define access fees (hourly, daily, monthly or free) while enabling their business to be the predominant feature of the hotspot. “Single Digits’ solution automates all back-office authentication and security policies to allow a non-technical person to “point-and-click” their way through adding and profiling users while viewing subsequent revenue via the Business Access Portal (BAP),” says Steven Brown, director of operations, Middle East and Africa, Single Digits. “This business model is in stark contrast to various mobile phone-type hotspot offerings that attempt to ‘lock’ a Wi-Fi user in a yearly contract laced with terms, conditions and cancellation fees. This type of model circumvents the hot spot owner because it showcases the service providers’ goods and services to the owner’s clientele and capturing the majority of revenue for themselves,” he adds. The BAP enables the provisioning, control and monitoring of each hot spot location. BAP tools include, create, delete, or modify user accounts, update and maintain pricing data, create reports on usage and revenue, define roaming rights and administer the look and feel of the Customer Access Portal. The Customer Access Portal (CAP) is the Web interface that the end user will see when first attempting to visit the internet a Single Digits managed hot spot. This is also the location where the end user enters their log-in credentials and credit card information to gain access to the internet. HMS is designed to interface with an on-premise wireless gateway, which sits between the public access network and the broadband connection. The wireless gateway provides access to all managed hot spot backend services and tools needed to authenticate, authorise, account for, and bill end users on the businesses public access network. Single Digits’ hotspot management solution is hosted at Network Operation Centers (NOCs) in the United Arab Emirates, as well as in New Zealand, Turkey and the USA. This gives each region centralised content and database management while maintaining the fault tolerance to support any large enterprise or telecommunications organisation. The solution is able to manage the public network (hot spot) independently of the corporate (core) network. This could help with security, where it can make sense for a company to have separate networks - one for the public and one for its core business. To avoid adding an additional burden to the network management software, Single Digits manages the switches and wireless devices that make up the public infrastructure from one its NOCs. Single Digits’ business model charges the hotspot adopter a yearly license fee based on user connectivity, leaving the hotspot adopter to market the Wi-Fi connectivity to the end user as they see fit.

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