One of the many challenges Wi-Fi service providers face is the Catch-22 problem of vendor lock, a dilemma that arises when you become confined to a proprietary solution despite the availability of lower cost alternatives. As a service provider, you must always balance the quality and features of your product with the total cost of ownership (TCO). However, even after an extensive selection process, you will likely find yourself locked into the vendor you chose as your TCO includes not only the price you pay to the vendor, but the training and operations of the products in real-life deployments. Later on, if you find yourself unhappy with your existing vendor for any reason (maybe price, quality, support, supply chain etc.) you are effectively unable to replace that vendor as your team will now need to run two different proprietary platforms, increasing your TCO and potentially making you uncompetitive in the market. You are effectively locked into your vendor even if they raise prices with no real alternative solution……until now.

2021 brings the launch of Open Wi-Fi, a solution to the problem of vendor lock. The promise of Open Wi-Fi is one that frees service providers from vendor lock by developing open standards based access points and cloud controllers. Now, you can not only mix and match access points of all types (indoor, outdoor, wall mount etc.) but you can, more importantly, mix and match access points from multiple vendors, picking the best products for your application and running them all from a single cloud-based controller with one management system and one source of analytics. Imagine being able to select from many hardware vendors with a vast range of products, even more than the largest proprietary vendor can provide today, all of whom will compete hard for your business as they know just as well as you do that you are not locked in! This is the promise of Open Wi-Fi now being delivered in 2021.

NetExperience, the solution to the problem of vendor lock for Wi-Fi