Have you noticed how it’s becoming more and more common for people to ask you for the wifi code when visiting your house? I’m sure many of us were quite taken aback when hearing this request for the first time – I mean, does your house look like a coffee shop, mine sure doesn’t – but now it’s mainstream, coming after ‘where can I put the meat?’. As a mobile marketer, I find this all very interesting and it bodes well for our particular marketing discipline. Most plaudits will say asking for a wifi code the moment you step into someone’s home is a symptom of our hyper-connected society, but it’s more than that. It speaks directly to the ubiquity of wireless. After all, the person asking for the code is not plugging in a copper wire, after they? They’re not asking for the code so they can run a cable from the car to your house! Aside from the fact that this simple request means wireless is now being taken for granted (does anyone know if the last dial-up users in SA have been disconnected?), it also assumes that the home being visited not only has wifi, but uncapped wireless connectivity, delivered via fibre. At last count, there were a couple hundred thousand households in South Africa that were part of the magical-sounding ‘fibrehoods’. These are the suburbs where those nice people with the spades and pickaxes come to dig up the pavements in pursuit of the laudable goal of super-speedy web access. The mobile marketer will, however, have noted the recent entrance of companies like Rain that promise high-speed broadband over mobile. We also have the incumbent operators like Telkom Mobile also coming up with high-speed and high-data cap wireless options. I think the sum effect of all of this is that many more consumers are becoming open to mobile marketing campaigns delivered over high-speed mobile. There are all sorts of wireless opportunities opening up, from free high-speed public wifi subsidised by advertising, to wireless push advertising on a grand scale. Next ever is going to get really hot in wireless and mobile marketers, and their clients brands, had better be there!
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