Wireless internet service providers (WISPs) are multiplying across the United States. In a recent report, it was estimated that there are now at least 2,800 WISPs across the country using fixed-wireless access (FWA) to connect subscribers in hard-to-reach rural areas. It is forecast that more than 12 million subscribers will use this access technology by 2025.
Despite this growth, WISPs face challenges. The big national mobile carriers—notably Verizon and T-Mobile—are also focusing on signing-up subscribers via FWA, while the latest government broadband funding programs are incentivizing fiber deployments over other technologies. Given an expected surge of broadband competitors of all types (mobile, satellite, cable, telco, fiber overbuilder, utility, muni) coming over the next several years, WISPs will be battling to win the hearts and minds of their subscribers.
So how can WISPs ensure they deliver a terrific broadband experience, both to keep their current subscribers, and to differentiate themselves from their competitors and win new subscribers?
One company that has developed a great “WISP Playbook” and is worth looking at closely is Kansas City-based Mercury Broadband. Mercury was recently awarded $62 million in federal grants from the FCC’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF). The award will enable the provider to accelerate construction of hybrid fixed-wireless/fiber networks to more than 122,000 underserved locations across the states of Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio.
Mercury partnered with Calix to develop two new offerings for residential and small business customers: Mercury@Home and Mercury@Work. These new products are built on the Calix Revenue EDGE™ platform—providing an enhanced broadband experience that is elevating the subscriber experience to the next level.
The combination of the Revenue EDGE platform and the rich ecosystem of Revenue EDGE Suites enables Mercury to:
- Offer the most advanced Wi-Fi equipment available. The GigaSpire® BLAST systems support the latest Wi-Fi technologies (such as Wi-Fi 6E) and offer extended coverage throughout the home—and beyond.
- Deliver value-added managed services that allow subscribers to tailor and enhance their experience. These include services such as ProtectIQ® for home network security and ExperienceIQ® for advanced parental controls, all managed by the customizable CommandIQ® mobile app (branded as the Mercury@Home app) that provides robust self-service capabilities.
- Leverage data-driven tools to grow revenue and deliver first-class customer support. These tools include Calix Marketing Cloud (Marketing Cloud) to tailor experiences and proactively identify upsell opportunities that grow average revenue per user (ARPU), and Calix Support Cloud (Support Cloud), which provides end-to-end visibility into the subscriber experience and enables support teams to swiftly identify and resolve subscriber issues.
By leveraging the power of Revenue EDGE, Mercury demonstrates that subscribers don’t need to live in a major city to enjoy superior broadband. Instead, it is meeting the evolving needs of its rural subscribers by providing easy ways to make their managed Wi-Fi experience safe, secure, and customizable. The solution also provides a platform to deliver a range of future managed services such as smart home management and broadband-enabled home security.
As Mercury’s experience shows, regardless what access technology you deploy to the home, by partnering with Calix you can deliver an enhanced whole home broadband experience that will delight your subscribers and keep you one step ahead of the competition.
Download the report “Improving the Subscriber Experience with Managed Wi-Fi” to discover how you can deliver the ultimate subscriber experience, reduce support costs, and generate new sources of revenue with managed Wi-Fi.