My iPhone 11 Pro just arrived, and I love it already. One of the many new features is Wi-Fi 6. Wi-Fi will now become even faster and more reliable than ever. Wi-Fi has been around for a long time and is becoming ubiquitous, but it was not always that way. Twenty-five years ago, a number of us at IBM were bullish on Wi-Fi, but it was expensive to deploy. A basic access point cost more than $1,500 and most devices did not support Wi-Fi. Home Wi-Fi was not practical. The New York Times had an article saying Wi-Fi was going nowhere because it was too slow, too expensive, and unreliable. I knew they were wrong. Wherever we go today, we expect reliable Wi-Fi and we expect it to be free. Most restaurants, coffee shops, pubs, cafes, gyms, and other retailers provide free Wi-Fi, but many still do not. They see it as a cost with no return. Wifigen is changing that in a major way. Retailers who have Wifigen offer free Wi-Fi in return for an email address. Consumers gladly provide it because they see the value. The value to the retailer is they can communicate with their customers. “Thanks for stopping by.” “Welcome back. We have not seen you for quite a while. Please have a free cup of coffee.” “By the way, did you know we have another establishment across town. Stop in and see us”. Wifigen automatically puts any new email addresses in Constant Contact or other customer retention platform. Wifigen allows the small retailer to go digital and compete with the giants. More than 50 Wifigen investors see the potential.
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