Why "Auto-login" is important for providing superior Guest WiFi experience

As per TRAI (an Indian government regulatory body), it is mandatory to authenticate each user logging in to Guest WiFi portal either through bulk login ids generated in advance, retaining a physical copy of identify proof for each login session, or the most convenient way - provisioning of Login-IDs and Passwords through SMS on subscriber's mobile phone at the time of login. In case of SMS-based authentication, a physical copy of identify proof is not required and the reference can be used for that Login-Id for a period of one-year. You can read the full document here

While the SMS-based authentication on Guest WiFi is a better solution than collecting physical ids or generating bulk ids and distributing them manually, however, there are issues with the process from the consumers' perspective -

  1. Mobile network coverage issue - There are limitations of mobile network coverage specially in inside buildings, basements, parking lots, and many such closed corridors - this means you can't receive any SMS on your mobile - which further means - no internet access for YOU!
  2. Network Congestion - If you are connected to a Public guest WiFi and waiting for a SMS to be delivered on your phone but not getting it instantaneously despite having full network coverage, don't think your phone has some issues, it is sometimes due to network congestion at telecom servers' levels due to high volumes transactions.
  3. International tourists - If you are traveling to India and don't have an active SIM available from Indian telecom operators at the time of connecting to Guest WiFi, there are no chance you can get connected and get your work done.

In overall, you can't get access to Guest WiFi when you need the most (specially when you don't have mobile network available on your phone) - because Why do I need to login to Guest WiFi if I already have mobile coverage and have enough 4G data available on my network phone?

Some people might argue that why don't Guest WiFi hotspot companies send OTP on Email or Whatsapp to ensure users can login seamlessly? Well, the way Guest WiFi screen works is that it blocks internet access to all websites other than the login page and allows access only once you are authenticated. Because if you can already access Email and Whatsapp without authentication then you probably don't need to go through the verification process at all.

"Auto-login" means a customer can verify any particular device with his/her unique mobile number on Guest WiFi, completes his/her profile one-time, similar to any other social network platforms and any registration portals. From next time, whenever he/she visits that particular location or any other location in the same group of network associated with the Guest WiFi service provider, he/she doesn't need to fill up all the details (Mobile number, OTP verification, and social profiles) again and can connect to internet in less than 5 seconds of engagement (vs. 45 seconds spent on each login earlier). See below info-graphic

"Auto-login" not only saves >85% of login process time on each session for consumers, it is hassle-free and super-fast. In the modern age, where all apps/websites remember consumers' credentials all the time to ensure seamless access on their platforms (through user-level authentication cookies, or server-side identifier tools), it is important for Guest WiFi hotspot companies to match the level and provide superior WiFi experience to attract more consumers.

A more detailed visual experience with screenshots below -

Next week, I will write on on "How our customers are leveraging "Auto-login" feature to collect customers' demographics faster, and engage customers with customized offers, discounts, surveys/feedback".

Do comment your suggestions on how we can improve our login process to further provide convenience to consumers.

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