Business communications giant Comcast unveiled WiFi Pro, a wireless Internet solution aimed at small to medium-size businesses (SMBs) and enterprise branch offices that includes cloud-based controls, marketing tools and other advanced capabilities.
It provides two high-performance commercial WiFi networks--a private network for employees and a guest network for visitors and patrons--providing additional security. It also leverages the latest AC chipset to support faster WiFi speeds and expanded range.
"Studies show that the number of WiFi enabled devices is increasing, and consumers want to be able to use them everywhere they go," John Guillaume, vice president of product management at Comcast Business, told eWEEK. "And, people are continually looking for ways to save the mobile data on their cell phones and get the fastest wireless connection that they can. Research has shown that patrons stay longer in stores or other businesses that have WiFi and spend more money on average. So, it is important today for small businesses to offer WiFi to customers."
As a managed solution, the equipment and access points for WiFi Pro are installed and managed by qualified technicians.
The service can be managed on a smart device through a mobile app or an online portal that gives businesses additional capabilities like on-demand activity reporting and network configuration controls to set schedules and allocate bandwidth.
In addition, SMBs and enterprise branch offices can utilize marketing tools such as custom splash or landing pages to help attract new customers and encourage repeat business.
"Many SMBs do not have any technical staff on site, and they want to focus on their core business rather than trying to install and configure a wireless network," Guillaume said. "They may run into difficulty trying to do it on their own. WiFi Pro allows SMBs to set up an employee and a guest network in minutes, with features that can improve their business."
WiFi Pro complements Comcast Business’ range of WiFi offerings, including managed WiFi from the company’s new Enterprise Solutions unit, which was announced in September 2015.
"WiFi increasingly is the way we connect to the Internet and the cloud. It will continue to get more pervasive and easier to connect with," Guillaume said. "And, it will evolve into more than just Internet connectivity but an enhancement to a business by delivering deep analytics on customer behavior, act as a marketing platform, and keep a business secure."