Video streaming, gaming, video conferencing, virtual reality: these online experiences are shaping consumer expectations for their broadband service both now and in the future. As technology advances, reliable, seamless connectivity has become a standard expectation for residential and business applications.
A recent Ernst & Young consumer survey found that more than half of American broadband consumers value reliability over speed. When you consider the frustration and lost productivity associated with dropped calls, spotty connections, and glitchy service, it’s not a surprising result. Constant connectivity has become an assumption for today’s consumers, resulting in dissatisfaction and churn when they don’t have it.
And it’s not just individual users who want seamless connectivity. Businesses also need reliable backup connections to gain a competitive advantage, provide excellent customer experiences, and maintain business continuity during power outages or natural disasters. Downtime is costly, with larger companies averaging a cost of $5,600 to $9,000 per minute.
The good news? The technology has arrived to meet the need, and the time to invest is now.
Current State of Connectivity Solutions
Reliable connectivity is critical to function effectively in today’s digital landscape. For example, a small individually-owned business may use just one router or a mobile device to run their business software, make sales and purchases, manage billing and finance, and much more. If they lose connectivity, they can’t run the business, and SD-WAN likely isn’t cost-effective in this scenario. Instead, this business needs a simple solution they can implement independently that doesn’t require expensive or complex hardware installations.
With a backup connectivity solution, small business owners can enjoy reliable, seamless connectivity and peace of mind that they can still run the business effectively in the event of an outage.
Of course, seamless connectivity isn’t just for small businesses. Large businesses and residential consumers also need backup solutions they can count on. That’s why it’s exciting to see a range of solutions emerging to support the market need. Let’s look at some of the ways a consumer might approach the connectivity problem:
The DIY Approach:
Without a backup connectivity solution, the customer must detect that the connection was lost and turn on the hotspot manually. Every Wi-Fi client must be manually reconfigured to connect to the hotspot, and the customer must manually turn it off again when connectivity is restored. With an average of 22 IoT devices per household, it is impractical (and frustrating) for subscribers to reconnect IoT devices, especially critical functions like security cameras or heating and cooling systems, to go over a mobile hotspot.
External hardware solutions may be available through the broadband provider. For example, Comcast recently released their 4G LTE-based Storm-Ready Wi-Fi device, automatically transferring the customer’s network to cellular backup during a power outage.
While external hardware solutions can be a good option in some scenarios, they are expensive and difficult to scale. The customer must purchase and install additional specialized hardware, which is usually specific to the provider and cannot be integrated with devices from other manufacturers. In addition, they also represent a single point of failure, which means users must either add redundant components or accept added risk in case of disruption.
A software-only solution like Kyrio’s ARC Hotspot solves the problem of continuous connectivity without the need for additional hardware or specialized training. The software automatically reconfigures the Internet traffic to flow over 5G-connected networks using already available smartphones. With a software-only solution, operators can improve overall network reliability and deliver seamless, redundant service without the added costs of additional hardware.
As a result, software only solutions are less expensive, more flexible because they can leverage the aggressive pace of smartphone evolution, have a low risk of obsolescence, and are easier to update over the life of the solution. In addition, a software solution makes it easy to increase the range of reliability improvement offerings in the future as technology evolves.
The Benefits of Software-Based Solutions
ARC Hotspot is the first and only software-based automated failover solution on the market. As such, it removes the burden of manual troubleshooting for users without additional hardware by using the multiple devices already existing in a household or business to support failover in case of an outage.
For operators, a software-only solution like ARC Hotspot improves the customer support experience, delivers superior customer experiences, and reduces customer churn. Operators can launch the solution to their customers with a remote update, or it can be offered as a premium feature available as part of their Wi-Fi 7 offerings or higher-priced subscription plans. ARC Hotspot’s solution comes with a mobile app SDK that can be integrated within the operator’s customer care app, ensuring a streamlined experience for the user.
Let’s take a look at two use cases:
Efficient, productive remote work demands a reliable internet connection for video conferencing, access to data and documents, communication platforms, and more. ARC Hotspot ensures that team members who work from home stay connected so they can do their best work.
Online learning is growing in popularity for college students and work applications as well as for K-12 remote learning needs. With ARC Hotspot, learners never worry about losing connection during videos, interactive classrooms, or collaborative projects.
Better Connectivity, Better Customer Experiences
With higher network connectivity speeds widely available now, reliable backup connectivity is increasingly an urgent requirement, especially as online interactions and applications continue to evolve. The range of backup solutions currently entering the market will benefit the entire ecosystem as we seek to solve the problem of seamless connectivity.
Today’s operators are committed to technological innovation that delivers transformational products and services designed to improve the digital experiences of their customers. Kyrio’s ARC Hotspot solution can fulfill that promise. This unique, innovative, lightweight solution relies on the ubiquitous availability of cell phones, offering fixed broadband consumers an easy, elegant, and cost-efficient way to connect to the internet in case of unforeseen service disruptions.