CCA steps up Wi-Fi offload access with Boingo deal
The Competitive Carriers Association (CCA) has inked a deal with Boingo Wireless to provide its members with white-label Wi-Fi service.
The agreement announced today allows carriers that are part of the CCA to offer access to Boingo Wi-Fi under their own brand.
“With the ever-increasing demand on wireless networks, it is absolutely critical for competitive carriers to have an offload solution," CCA President and CEO Steve Berry said. Berry encouraged CCA members to inquire about the program, "which could greatly benefit your businesses and your customers.”
The majority of CCA’s members are regional and rural providers facing stiff competition from national operators, though it also represents Sprint and T-Mobile USA. Increased access to Wi-Fi could help the companies keep their product offerings up to par with AT&T and Verizon Wireless.
Boingo operates more than 500,000 hotspots worldwide, with service set up in major cities, hotels, restaurants, convention centers, airports and sports stadiums.
The cost of signing up for the service was not specified, but Boingo development executive Luis Serrano said the "blanket agreement for all CCA carrier members extends the same advantage to all of them, with the ability to keep costs low based on combined commitments.”
The Wi-Fi offload contract comes during the CCA's annual fall conference in Las Vegas, which began Sunday and runs through tomorrow.
Wi-Fi has become an increasingly important means to move data traffic off cellular, reducing the burden on carriers' already heavily loaded networks.
AT&T makes extensive use of Wi-Fi offload, with about 30,000 hotspots mostly gained through its 2008 purchase of WayPort and its more recent acquisition of SuperClick.
Cable companies have also gotten in on the Wi-Fi game. Cablevision, Cox Communications, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks have brought their hotspots together under the same CableWiFi brand, giving their customers access to more than 50,000 hotspots.
The amount of cellular traffic offloaded to Wi-Fi is expected to increase 16-fold  between last year and 2016, reaching 8 million gigabytes per month, according to forecasts from iGR.