Managed WLAN Services
Using NFV to enable a more scalable and profitable service offering
Enterprises, public venues, and SMBs of all types are looking for managed WLAN services to address an urgent need for wireless broadband connectivity. Wi-Fi is rapidly becoming a utility for these businesses, it’s like electricity and plumbing, and if you don’t have it you are at a competitive disadvantage. Many of these businesses do not have the expertise to install and operate a network on their own.
For the managed service provider there are all sorts of advantages including:
- Monthly recurring revenue stream
- A chance to then upsell other services like broadband backhaul, security, and even LTE small cells
- Simplifies site acquisition which is a hugely important issue going forward.
- For MNOs, most LTE small cell builds will occur indoors and site acquisition is made much easier if the venue is already a managed WLAN services customer
- If you are installed in a venue that usually means your competitor isn't. Managed Services are a sustainable competitive advantage.
A key part of a successful and profitable managed WLAN service offering is to leverage network functions visualization (NFV) to enable services to be turned up quickly, at scale, and at the lowest possible cost. All backend system in a managed services offering can be moved to a centralized data center and pushed up into the cloud. Ruckus is moving aggressively in this area and have already enabled the industry leading SCG-200 WLAN Controller to now run in the Cloud via KVM and VMware vSphere hypervisor. This product, known as the vSCG, can support multi-tenant environments where many managed services customers share an instance of the vSCG, or in a dedicated mode (see the following figure).