What is WiFi as a Service

WiFi as a Service Expained

WiFi is a must have now for all service business locations, and very often, not much thought is put into how the installation may be structured. There are two ways to structure the purchase of a WiFi service for a business. The first one is the standard method and involved the outright purchase of WiFi equipment and then paying an hourly rate to an IT Provider or Managed Service Provider to install the equipment. Another option is for the IT Supplier or MSP to provide WiFi as a Service which means that the provider rents the equipment for a set term to the customer. WiFi as a Service offers significant benefits to both the client and the IT Provider which are expanded on below. For the purposes of this article, we are referring to Ubqiuiti UniFi equipment and all the benefits listed are written with this equipment in mind as well as other MyPlace Connect integrations. It is however possible to use other equipment with similar business models to Ubiquiti.

If you would like to explore WiFi as a Service add ons, then please get in touch with us at MyPlace Connect

Benefits for Venues

  • Better WiFi Equipment – short contract lifecycle, typically 3 years in duration, means that the venue will always have the latest WiFi technology
  • No Capital Outlay – As the cost is spread over the term of the agreement, there is no significantly large upfront capital payment required
  • Free Swap Out – Typical terms allow for free equipment swapout in the event of WiFi equipment failure
  • Known Cost – the cost of providing WiFi is fixed and known cost, allowing for more accurate budgeting and forecasting
  • Additional Services – Automated equipment updates and other services are typically incorporated into the service offered
  • WiFi Marketing – If a client wants to capture email on UniFi or integrate WiFi with TripAdvisor, then these services are also an option in a pricing bundle
  • Monitoring – Pace of mind that network is being continuously monitored

Benefits for IT Providers

  • Repeat Monthly Income – Build a steady stream of income instead of once off install costs
  • Easier Management – With regular equipment upgrades, managing networks for clients gets easier
  • Sell Better – Selling a small monthly fee instead of a large capital outlay is much easier and quicker
  • Additional Services – Add in additional services like UniFi Cloud Hosting and Guest WiFi Marketing to increase monthly revenue and commissions

WiFi as a Service Typical Terms

While there are variations in how this might be achieved, there are a few useful guidelines as to how WiFi as a Service might be structured. Typical terms include:

  • Agreement term of 3 years – 3 years is a typical timeframe for WiFi equipment upgrades and change in WiFi standards
  • Customer owns Cabling – Customer should pay for any cabling works separately (or as a separate cost) and retain ownership of any cabling
  • Deposit – A deposit of three months service fee, redeemable at the end of the agreement provides a level of security to both parties
  • Automated Payments – Direct Debits or automated bank payments so both parties are not spending needless time processing payments manually
  • Equipment Swap Out – In the event of equipment failure, the IT Provider will replace the equipment at no extra cost
  • Support – Provide an agreed level of phone and/or callout support
  • Monitoring and Updates – Provide a monitored service and apply stable firmware updates when available

Ubiquiti UniFi most suitable

While there are many WiFi hardware manufacturers, the Ubiqiuiti UniFi range is best suited to this type of install. The equipment quality and reliability means it will continue to perform throughout the period of the WiFi as a Service Term. The pricing means that this business model will work for both the IT Provider and the customer. The free UniFi controller will make management of networks much easier, allow instant response times and monitoring so that WIFi is always on and always working.

At MyPl

WiFi as a Service is a Win Win

For a business, owning your own WiFi equipment may sound appealing, however in 3 years WiFi equipment will not be worth very much at all and have little or no resale value. To keep up with standards and new security features you will need to regularly upgrade UniFi equipment anyway. Opting as WiFi as a Service, you will  always have the best and fastest WiFi equipment, at a low monthly cost. The benefits are clear for both business owners and IT Providers

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