Wayport's Major Shift In Hotspot Pricing

Glenn Fleishman strikes again over at Wi-Fi Networking News, with another great scoop. This time he details (and we do mean “details”) the specifics of Wayport’s shift in pricing for resellers and aggregators. While the specifics may not seem that interesting to those outside the space, or who it doesn’t seem to impact directly, the reverberations from the pricing model could be felt broadly. Wayport remains one of the few success stories in setting up and managing hotspots, and the new pricing scheme, called Wi-Fi World focuses on charging resellers and aggregators a single monthly flat-rate per location – period. The old model was that Wayport would charge a connection fee each time the service was used – which was much riskier to the resellers and aggregators. The resellers and aggregators are mostly focused on charging flat-rate monthly fees to end-users, but if that end-user went and used a Wayport hotspot many times over the course of the month, the aggregator actually starts to lose money. By setting up flat-rate per venue pricing, and letting aggregators keep whatever they can charge, there’s now a lot more incentive for aggregators to encourage their customers to use as much WiFi as possible (making the service seem much more worthwhile) – while also reducing many of the backend costs of tracking and settling the per connection fees. So, this will drop costs and help make it more attractive for providers to encourage their customers to use WiFi. What comes out of that combination is what we should soon learn, but it should lead to much more attractive end user plans. It’s not entirely clear how the retail venues will react to this plan, but it does seem like a step in the right direction.

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