WiFi Captive Portal
A WiFi captive portal is a login or landing page that users are directed to so that they can be authenticated and have authorized access to an operator’s WiFi hotspot network. This page is usually displayed on public-access networks to first-time users of the network.
A WiFi captive portal is also used to grant access to enterprise or residential WiFi networks, such as airports, malls, hotels, and business centres. Most frequently, it prompts users to enter login credentials and/or sign up, provides payment information, along with end-user license policies or accepted usage terms that the customer must agree to before they can be granted access to the network. The landing page automatically appears on users’ device browsers when they are within the range of available hotspot networks. Users can only access the internet over open WiFi once they fill in the registration form and share their personal details.
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Today, however, the WiFi captive portal offers greater use than providing internet access. Revenue-enhancing features can help Communications Service Providers (CSPs) monetize their WiFi network. They can, for instance, employ built-in advertising, including contextual advertisement personalized for users. They can offer differentiated WiFi plans based on the needs of different customers, allowing them to improve user experience while they increase revenue from data. Operators can also create a WiFi reseller ecosystem, as well as offering wholesale and bulk plans.
Customers can choose to buy the plans that best suit their usage needs; these can be time-specific or data-specific. Operators, on the other hand, can increase revenue using monetization and offload features such as guest logins with simple SMS authentication, social logins for lead generation, gated access using mandatory surveys and video ads, validity passes for premium users, value-added services (VAS) as a premium add-on, customized offers, partnerships with operators for WiFi offload, and pay-to-use transactions.