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Fontech: WiFi hotspots from the public cloud

A wooden table with a small chalkboard with "WiFi" written on it. WiFi for everyone: Fontech makes it easy for companies to offer a hotspot – and relies on the public cloud to do so.

In this article you will read about,

  • how small companies can set up a WiFi hotspot for their costumers without IT knowledge thanks to Fontech,
  • what role IT security and data protection play in this process
  • and why the Open Telekom Cloud is indispensable for this.

What do a hairdressing salon, a doctor's office and a café have in common? Their customers often spend a lot of time waiting and want to use their smartphone while they're doing so – if possible without using up their own data. After all, Germany is one of the most expensive countries when it comes to mobile data volume. According to the Statista Global Consumer Survey, only 3 percent of users have unlimited data volume in Germany. By way of comparison, the figure in the United States is 23 percent. And with 12 gigabytes or more, mobile phone users in Austria (25 percent), Italy (29 percent) and France (38 percent) also have significantly more volume.

So, what could be more obvious than using free WiFi hotspots? However, small companies have found it difficult to offer their customers free mobile access to the Internet. There were two main reasons for this: The so-called "liability as a co-liable party" and the complicated setup of a guest WiFi.

Easy setup of customer WiFi

The regulations have now changed so that operators of a public hotspot are no longer liable if, for example, a guest downloads illegal content. "However, companies should not simply reveal the password of their corporate WiFi, but set up guest access to separate the networks," says Fontech's Peter Dvorak. "For many, however, this seems too complicated because they don't know how to do it. That's why, despite the huge demand, in many places there's still no WiFi for customers."

Fontech’s WiFi software is designed to change that. The public hotspot can be quickly set up and managed via an app without previous knowledge. Fontech has been operating the software platform for this in the Open Telekom Cloud since the beginning of 2019. "Several aspects spoke in favor of Telekom's public cloud," says Dvorak: "We were previously with another public cloud provider with our service. But that wasn't secure enough for us. We opted for the Open Telekom Cloud to process our customers' data and their hotspot users in a data center that is as secure as possible and also complies with data protection regulations.”

Pay-as-you-grow reduces the risk

Since it was difficult to estimate how popular public hotspots would prove in the corporate sector, Fontech also wanted maximum scalability. In the Open Telekom Cloud, the leading provider of WiFi software can now scale as needed without having to invest in its own computing capacity. "A pay-as-you-grow model is especially important in a business area, where it’s difficult to predict growth. Our computing and storage needs in the Open Telekom Cloud are growing with our business," says Dvorak.

Flexible through Open Source

In addition, another technical aspect spoke for the Open Telekom Cloud: “We wanted to free ourselves from all proprietary systems so that we could focus entirely on standardized services and the public cloud," says Dvorak. "Since the Open Telekom Cloud relies on OpenStack, we are very flexible today because our software is easily portable.”

Fontech also benefits from Telekom's SoftwareBoost partner program. The Software-as-a-Service provider receives technological support for the cloud as well as marketing and sales support.

And the partnership with Deutsche Telekom goes even further: Fontech now also makes its WiFi software available to providers as a white label solution for their WiFi services. Telekom Deutschland, for example, offers the package in Germany under the name "Business WLAN aus der TelekomCLOUD."


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