RansNet Singapore: How to Monetize Public Wi-Fi?
It wasn’t very long ago that consumers needed to pay for accessing Wi-Fi network at hotels or even some public places. But the last few years have witnessed a considerable shift in consumers’ behavior and their willingness to pay for public Wi-Fi. Randy Ran, Founder and CEO of RansNet Singapore, mentions that today people see free Wi-Fi as default facility when they visit hotels, airports, tourist places, banks, hospitals, and large F&B chains. “Today, a lot of SMEs, venue owners, and restaurants offer free Wi-Fi because it is no longer just another amenity, it's a necessity,” explains Ran. “Owing to higher consumer expectations, first we enable our clients to offer good Wi-Fi service, and then empower them to monetize it.” In other words, even by providing access for free, venue owners can leverage the conduit to deliver additional content such as advertisements and earn revenue in the process. "Wi-Fi was once a cost center for many venue owners, but now we're turning it into a revenue generating platform," says Ran. To paint a more comprehensive picture, Ran elucidates the mechanism. Once a person logs into the network, his/ her public profile gets stored which allow venue owners to gather an in-depth understanding of that person’s behavior and demographics. With the afforded insights, venue owners can stream advertisements specific to the person’s behavior and earn revenue from advertising agencies. Additionally, customers can also identify the number of new people coming in every day and the areas that receive higher footfalls. This can allow for providing better end-user services, and the saved contacts can be used for future marketing campaigns as well.
RansNet’s hotspot solutions come with comprehensive control features that allow integration with any wireless access point. Using this integration, capability users can also sign-in to Wi-Fi networks through different social media platforms. Quoting an example, Ran explains how RansNet assisted one of its clients in providing Wi- Fi hotspot for its hotel guests. With the open hotspot platform provided by RansNet, the hotel allowed its VIP and premium users to integrate their premium database into the Wi-Fi network to offer higher speed to their VIP guests, while still allowing public guests to sign-in via social media logins for a free lower speed service.
We offer solution to meet clients' primary needs, and empower them to get more out of it
Then the hotels collect pubic user profiles and contacts, which can be used for further engagement, encouraging them to sign-up as VIP guests later.
RansNet’s product family includes hotspot infrastructure product (mbox), security (mlog), and cloud management platform (mfusion). "mbox enables our clients to build hotspot networks securely and resiliently,” says Ran. The product comes equipped with advanced networking and security technologies such as Ethernet switching, TCP/IP routing, virtual private networking, stateful firewall inspection, customizable captive portals, and flexible user access control. "Then mfusion empowers clients to monetize their Wi-Fi networks". The super-tenant cloud mfusion platform allows clients to manage and operate their hotspot infrastructure and stream in-session advertisements over Wi-Fi.
With this complete offering, the firm’s clients can easily deploy and offer flawless hotspot infrastructure where users can securely connect to the internet, while the clients can manage the hotspot infrastructure at ease and advertise to their target audience at finger tips. In addition, RansNet works closely with advertising agencies and connect them with RansNet clients so that they can collaborate to share revenue from Wi-Fi advertisements. Recently, the firm has launched a Wi-Fi monetization module—available to advertising agencies on a subscription basis—that can allow advertisers to stream ad banners and reach target customers. “It also helps our clients to provide the necessary infrastructure and earn profits over free Wi-Fi,” mentions Ran. "Although we are a technology vendor, we don't just sell technology or point products, we build an eco-system for our clients to maximize their benefits - happier consumers, increased sales, and additional income from advertising."
Furthermore, the mlog series (a supplementary solution to the mbox), as Ran puts it, is a comprehensive security and Syslog management tool that enables businesses to meet stringent compliances. The product is available in three variations (LOG-500, LOG-1000, and LOG-2000 series) and mainly caters to the needs of telcos, hospitality, F&B, and, retail entities, educational institutions, and managed service providers. With mlog, an administrator can track users’ access trails for security forensic investigation, audit and compliance reporting purposes.
Since its inception, RansNet has assisted many clients, including some of the world’s best airports, prominent tourism destinations, banks, hotels, hospitals, and large F&B chains. A case worth mentioning is that of the Singapore Changi Airport. RansNet enabled the airport to provide high-speed internet across both the public and transit areas, in all four terminals.
Apart from clients mentioned above, RansNet has also worked with some of the leading Internet Service Providers (ISP) in the region. “We recommend ISPs to integrate their system with our hotspot solution for delivering optimal services to end clients,” adds Ran. He proudly mentions that besides RansNet’s hotspot solutions, it is the dedicated team of the company that has enabled it to attain the position it enjoys today.
Under the guidance of Ran — who possesses a rich networking expertise - the firm has been continuously innovating and creating greater values to its clients. “During the first two years of our launch, we were offering mfusion on a SaaS model, and in the 3rd year, we launched RansNet mbox, shortly followed by advertising module, and now we just launched HSA with huge success too,” Ran adds. He further points out that in a span of only four years, the company’s growth and revenue have increased multiple times. As the growth rate has been positive, today the firm probably empowers up to 70 percent of the public Wi-Fi hotspots in Singapore, directly or indirectly, and handles more than two million logins per day in Singapore alone, not to mention its growing presence across the region. Ran concludes, “These are truly huge numbers, and we are very excited about our future. On the geographical front, we have extended our offerings to other territories of Asia including Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, and Indonesia. We also have partners in Spain, Germany, France, and California with whom we are working closely to expand our presence globally,” mentions Ran.
“Although we are a technology vendor, we don't just sell technology or point products, we build an eco-system for our clients to maximize their benefits”
It's worth noting that HSA (HotSpot Access) is an all-in-one appliance that integrates RansNet winning hotspot technologies with latest M2M and SD-WAN technologies in a tiny powerful appliance, specifically for large F&B chains and banks to connect their stores or ATMs back to HQ office while offering free Wi-Fi services at each location. It has enjoyed massive success since its initial launch a few months back. It will be exciting to watch out where the company will grow.