Internet Providers to Use Private Routers as Public Hotspots
The Juniper report highlighted the consumer benefits that the policy offers, such as free or reduced-fee access to the operator’s homespot network.At least one in three home routers will be used as public WiFi hotspots by 2017, and the total installed base of such dual-use routers will reach 366 million globally by the end of 2020, according to a report from Juniper Research. The report explained that these so-called ‘homespot’ routers essentially create two wireless networks separated by a firewall. This means one network is for private use while the other is offered as a public WiFi hotspot by the broadband operators. "The main driver behind the growth of homespots is primarily the rate at which broadband operators around the world replace existing home routers with homespot routers," research author Gareth Owen told eWEEK. "This will depend primarily on the investment priorities of individual operators, and to a lesser extent, on the available supply of new homespot routers from vendors. Clearly, this will vary from country to country and by region."
He explained major broadband operators such as BT, UPC and Virgin Media in Europe and several of the biggest U.S. cable TV operators such as Comcast and Cablevision have adopted the homespot model as a low-cost way of rapidly expanding their domestic WiFi coverage.