Category: Feature Spotlight

    Revolutionizing Hospitality Technology: The Impact of Digital Onboarding for Competitive Advantage


    I had an interesting observation before a recent business trip. It struck me that when I step into a hotel room, every facet of hospitality surpasses the comforts of my own home. There’s 24-hour room service, daily housekeeping, and even the swift arrival of an aircon technician if needed. It’s a haven of comfort, luxury, and convenience.

    On the other hand, every aspect of the hotel network will pale in comparison to what I enjoy at home without fail, even in the most luxurious suites. In my humble abode, I revel in a dedicated broadband connection or Fiber to the Home (FTTH) link that boasts speeds of 1 or even 2 Gbps. My home Wi-Fi connection is secure, and I can upgrade the router every 2 to 3 years. I have a second large LED monitor for my laptop to work on. Streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, and YouTube keep me entertained and snacking late at night. A Covid-era colour inkjet printer is on standby.

    So, why can’t we have the best of both worlds in a hotel room? With Digital Onboarding and a secure Wi-Fi profile, we could seamlessly connect to the hotel network. Likewise, having the capability to cast my content to the room TV securely would enable me to utilize my personal subscriptions for the latest episodes or stream my favourite Spotify and YouTube tunes. I can even request for housekeeping and room service online. Picture it: ordering room service, sipping on drinks, and indulging in the latest episodes in the lap of luxury.

    The bar for hospitality is set so high in a luxury hotel that as an everyday consumer I cannot surpass it, and yet I easily outspend the hotel on consumer tech which surely is a minimal percentage a large hotel spends on coffee beans a month. From such a low base, the returns from an incremental investment in digital services far outstrip the increment returns to upgrade the already high hospitality aspect.

    If we could indeed merge exceptional hospitality with efficient technology, wouldn’t that be a game-changer for the post-COVID era and the tech-savvy TikTok generation?

    ANTlabs and Our Journey

    Welcome to the future of hospitality, where technology meets exceptional guest experiences. At ANTlabs, we envision a transformative path that leverages Digital Onboarding to redefine how hotels engage with their guests and deliver digital services to deepen guest engagement and customer loyalty. In this blog, we embark on our journey through the Hospitality 2.0 Pyramid. This is a strategic framework, where the key to success lies in seamlessly integrating technology and hospitality, unlocking competitive advantage.

    ANTlabs Hospitality 2.0 Pyramid

    ANTlabs has over two decades of expertise in hospitality, collaborating with Telcos and service providers. Our technology, including internet gateways and Cloud Wi-Fi management platforms, has powered guest Wi-Fi solutions worldwide. Notably, our networking solutions played a vital role in facilitating connectivity during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, arguably the world’s largest hospitality event in recent history.

    We use the Hospitality 2.0 Pyramid to systematically deconstruct the guest’s digital journey across diverse sectors, encompassing hotels, airports, stadiums, and F&B retail. At its core lies Digital Onboarding, the cornerstone upon which exceptional guest experiences are constructed.

    Digital Onboarding: The Foundation for Excellence

    Digital Onboarding, a seamless guest registration process, extends beyond mere Wi-Fi connectivity. It encompasses an array of user-friendly steps, including app downloads and enticing incentives for loyalty program enrollment, setting the stage for an unforgettable stay.

    User Identification: A Crucial Step

    Moving up the pyramid, User Identification is a pivotal phase where the recognition of users on the network takes center stage. The absence of authenticated user devices destroys the capacity to provide personalized and distinctive services.

    User Recognition allows the network to associate a guest’s identity and elite member status, allowing for personalization while ensuring privacy. This is achieved via integration through the PMS interface, loyalty program databases, identity management solutions, or a combination of the above.

    User Engagement: Elevating the Experience

    In the middle of the pyramid, User Engagement comes into play where personalized interactions through digital services and apps enhance guest convenience and overall satisfaction.  For example, the use of AI Chatbots or just simple messaging maintains a high-tech, high-touch hospitality experience, in the absence of a trained and experienced guest relations officer.  As a returning customer, I am always vexed by talking with interns or inexperienced operators who don’t understand what I want.  In a previous stay, I didn’t have the same issue.  The use of technology can mitigate the global hospitality staff shortage and maintain a high level of guest relations.

    Provision of Digital Services: Enriching the Journey with Digital Onboarding

    At the pyramid’s peak lies the Provision of Digital Services. Here, the focus shifts to crafting tailored offerings and streamlining service requests and delivery, resulting in a memorable guest experience.   For example, elite status members may be entitled to premium Wi-Fi speeds, allocated public IP addresses, enjoy secured Wi-Fi connectivity, and even web filtering services on the hotel Wi-Fi network for better security.  Other services can include casting user content like NetFlix to the in-room large-screen TV, seamless access to chatbots for service requests, and many more.

    The Power of Seamless Onboarding: Increasing Loyalty Program and App Adoption

    This logical diagram visually illustrates how the onboarding process can increase loyalty program sign-ups and app downloads. Through Digital Onboarding, a Passpoint or Hotspot 2.0 compatible Wi-Fi profile can be effortlessly stored on the guest’s device, guaranteeing seamless login and roaming privileges within the hotel group.

    Guests should be incentivized to download and install the hotel app, accept the Wi-Fi profile, and participate in the loyalty program. This strategic approach maximizes guest engagement and lays the foundation for comprehensive digital service delivery.

    Merging Hospitality with Technology

    The anecdote that started our journey highlights a crucial point: we deserve the best of both worlds, especially in a mid-scale to luxury hotel room. By harmonizing exceptional hospitality with efficient technology, hotels can gain a competitive edge in the post-COVID era and appeal to the tech-savvy TikTok generation.

    Conclusion: Aligning Hospitality with Technology

    In conclusion, the guest’s journey through the Hospitality 2.0 Pyramid encompasses onboarding, user identification, engagement, and personalized digital services. This alignment of exceptional hospitality with technology will help discerning hotels differentiate themselves in a highly competitive market.

    Without Digital Onboarding and User Recognition, meaningful guest engagement is not possible. It’s akin to losing the front desk manager who recognizes your most loyal guests.  A new desk staff will greet and treat every customer the same, and guess what? Over time, your guests will also treat you just like any other hotel – without loyalty!

    With Digital Onboarding, connectivity becomes seamless, and recognition instantaneous, ensuring that guests receive the elevated service they deserve.  Seamless connectivity and instant recognition can also be extended across all properties within the same hotel group or loyalty program.

    And with that, we conclude our exploration of the future of hospitality technology. We trust that you’ve found these insights valuable as we navigate the dynamic intersection of hospitality and technology.

    ANTlabs powers guest Wi-Fi for Millennium Hotels & Resorts

    Elevating guest digital experiences and hospitality for the world-renowned hotel group

    In today’s hyper-interconnected world, delivering seamless guest experiences is the key to success in the hospitality industry. ANTlabs, a leading hospitality IT solutions provider, is proud to play a pivotal role in this pursuit by providing cutting-edge solutions to Millennium Hotel & Resorts (Millennium H&R), an established and world-renowned hotel group. The successful completion of the first phase marks a significant milestone as Millennium H&R has standardized their Guest Wi-Fi portal and integrated ANTlabs’ solutions across their Middle East properties. This will greatly enhance guest satisfaction, and brand identity, and allows the IT management to streamline its operations.

    ANTlabs: A Proven Innovator in Hospitality IT for Over 23 Years

    With over 23 years of industry experience, ANTlabs has earned a reputation as a trailblazer in hospitality IT solutions and garnered the trust of hotels and resorts worldwide. “Our collaboration with Millennium Hotel & Resorts in the Middle East has been a testament to ANTlabs’ expertise spanning more than 2 decades in delivering exceptional IT solutions for the hospitality industry. Through our high-capacity SG5 gateways and ASP Cloud Wi-Fi Management platform, we have successfully standardized their Guest Wi-Fi experience across their Middle East properties. We are thrilled to witness the positive impact on guest satisfaction and brand identity, and we eagerly anticipate the next phase of seamless roaming and loyalty program integration.” – Mr. Peng Soon, Aw, VP Sales & BD, ANTlabs.

    Standardizing Quality Hotel Wi-Fi Experience with Unmatched Flexibility

    Through ANTlabs’ high-capacity SG5 gateways and the ASP Cloud Wi-Fi Management platform, Millennium H&R have achieved a unified and immersive brand identity across their properties in the Middle East. The portal standardization has amplified guest engagement and satisfaction while granting Millennium H&R the flexibility to customize services to cater to local preferences and cultural nuances.

    Advanced QoS for Streamlined Bandwidth Management

    Millennium H&R can now seamlessly manage and optimize bandwidth allocation with ANTlabs’ Advanced QoS features. This ensures uninterrupted connectivity for guests, regardless of their location within the premises. A multi-stage QoS engine will allow the hotel to flexibly manage the bandwidth per device, or per user account, and even assign dedicated bandwidth tiers to certain user groups if needed.

    Cross-Pollination of Technology Features for Unmatched Scalability

    ANTlabs’ expertise extends beyond the hospitality sector as they also serve large service providers and mobile operators. This cross-pollination of technology features allows ANTlabs to infuse the scalability and robustness of solutions designed for massive network infrastructures into the hospitality domain. Hotels and resorts benefit from state-of-the-art technologies that have proven their mettle in demanding and complex network environments. One example is the Advanced QoS feature that has multi-stage QoS control and field tested in large public venues and city-wide Wi-Fi hotspots by mobile operators.

    Looking Ahead: Seamless Roaming and Loyalty Program Integration

    The upcoming phase will see ANTlabs further enhancing guest experiences through seamless roaming capabilities, allowing guests to transition effortlessly between different Millennium H&R properties in the Middle East after a first visit. Moreover, the planned integration of Millennium H&R’s esteemed “MyMillennium” loyalty program with ANTlabs’ solution will encourage enrollment and offer guests exclusive benefits. Recognition of Elite members will enable Millennium H&R to extend personalized VIP experiences, reinforce customer loyalty, and deepen customer engagement and relationships.


    With the successful completion of the first phase, Millennium H&R has taken significant strides in transforming guest experiences through standardized Guest Wi-Fi offerings and brand identity. ANTlabs’ cutting-edge solutions have elevated guest satisfaction and streamlined bandwidth management, enhancing operational efficiency. As Millennium H&R looks forward to the next phase, they anticipate even greater success in enhancing guest engagement and promoting their MyMillennium loyalty programme. With ANTlabs as their trusted HSIA Hotel Wi-Fi solutions provider, the hospitality industry can expect continuous growth in guest experiences and loyalty, solidifying Millennium H&R’s position as a leading brand in the Middle East. The collaboration underscores ANTlabs’ commitment to delivering unparalleled guest experiences while empowering Millennium H&R to achieve excellence in their hospitality services.

    CapPort Support on ANTlabs Gateways

    Improving Captive Portal Detection and Venue Published Information for better visibility

    Captive portals are commonly used by public Wi-Fi networks to restrict access to the internet until the user agrees to certain terms and conditions or authenticates successfully. While captive portals are necessary for many public Wi-Fi networks, they can be frustrating for users who are unable to connect to the internet until they have completed the login process.

    Frustrations can stem from captive portals not loading fast enough or freezing, and some login methods can be lengthy or complicated. Thankfully, ANTlabs gateways provide a plethora of seamless login methods, including social media login, SMS OTP, PMS integration, Hotspot 2.0, etc to suit many usage scenarios. CapPort support on ANTlabs gateways offers an elegant solution to the other aspect of the problem, while providing improved captive portal detection and venue published information.

    Improved Captive Portal Detection

    ANTlabs gateways support the use of DHCP option 114 to indicate the captive portal API URL during IP address assignment. This means that supported devices can immediately fetch the API content after connecting to the network, which prompts the user to log in if the network is identified as captive based on the API response. There is no need to redirect or intercept the initial web requests that would trigger security warnings in modern browsers or delay the delivery of captive portals.

    In other words, CapPort support on ANTlabs gateways enables faster and more accurate reliable detection of captive portals, and greatly improve the user experience and reduce frustration.  The diagram on the left shows an example of an Android phone’s locked screen showing the visual cues to allow the user to click the captive portal URL.


    Venue Published Information for Better Visibility

    In addition to improving captive portal detection, CapPort support on ANTlabs gateways also enables venue published information. Without this feature, after a user is successfully authenticated, they are free to move to other web content and the venue will lose the opportunity to engage with the customer further.

    When a CapPort message is displayed on a device using captive portal API, the user can interact with it to immediately open their internet browser and navigate to the Venue Info URL at any time. This feature is particularly useful in scenarios such as staying at a hotel, where guests may want to easily access information about services or amenities. By simply clicking on the system message, users can access venue information, including spa, restaurant hours or any promotions offer. With the addition of location-aware websites, the guest journey becomes even more intuitive and seamless.  The diagram on the right shows the user interface where a user can find the venue URL by clicking on the “Open Site” icon.

    It is worth noting that more mobile devices are beginning to support CapPort feature, specifically Apple (iOS 14 and macOS Big Sur) devices and Android 11 onward. 


    In conclusion, CapPort support on ANTlabs gateways is a powerful tool for improving captive portal detection and providing venue published information. By using DHCP option 114 to provide the captive portal API URL and including the Venue Info URL in the CapPort message, CapPort support streamlines the process of connecting to public Wi-Fi networks and provides users with easy access to important information about the venue. As a result, CapPort support can lead to increased customer satisfaction, repeat business, and revenue for businesses.

    How to deploy ANTlabs Advanced QoS/QoS+ and dramatically improve your Wi-Fi network

    Are users complaining about slow WiFi speeds? Do you want to provide your guests, or staff with all the bandwidth they need?

    Are you struggling to meet bandwidth requirements for guest WiFi, and cringing at the prospect of asking Management for yet another budget request to buy more internet connections?  Wished you read this article before the last budget request?

    Have you been asked to implement QoS on your network but don’t know where to start? This blog post will explain how Advanced QoS can help you with all the above. Let’s get started!

    Basic QoS 101

    Quality of Service (QoS) can help you by providing better control and management of your traffic. QoS can improve your user experience by giving certain types of traffic priority over others. This can be especially useful if you have time-sensitive applications or need to manage large amounts of traffic.

    Without QoS, your network would be a free-for-all where every application competes for bandwidth equally. That might work fine for small networks, but as soon as you start adding more users and applications, things can get bogged down quickly.  With QoS, you can give priority to the traffic that matters most to your business. For example, you can prioritize voice traffic over email or video streaming. Alternatively, you may decide that social media usage like YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter is banned in your network.

    However, not all QoS features are built equal. You need to understand that simple QoS solutions don’t help much, if at all. For example, simple rate-limit, or device-level QoS control targets individual devices. It has no idea what applications are being used, who the user is, or how many devices within the same room are hogging all the bandwidth. A small group of users can monopolize the network. Implementing QoS can be complex, but the benefits are worth it.

    antlabs multi wan bandwidth solution

    What is Advanced QoS / QoS+ and how does it work?

    Save money and time, while improving the end-user experience: Advanced QOS (AQoS) and Advanced QoS Plus (AQoS+) module from ANTlabs control who gets priority, where, and when. No need to buy expensive network equipment, and spend days installing and troubleshooting, as both are software modules add-on to our ANTlabs gateways.  It is easy to deploy and optimizes throughput over a network with a multi-stage QoS engine and customizable application shaping. It enables you to grant VIP users more bandwidth, speeds up those applications that need them (e.g., VoIP or IPTV), and it provides comprehensive control over the quality of your network.  The IT administrator just needs to define the locations, and QoS plans that is to be applied to different user groups, and simply configure on a graphical web-based interface on our managed Cloud Wi-Fi platform (ASP/Cloud ASP).

    ANTlabs Advanced QoS / QoS+ is a powerhouse

    With more than 20 years of R&D and industry experience for visitor-based networking in hospitality and large venues, ANTlabs has purpose-built the QoS engine to optimize hospitality Wi-Fi, and offer world-class airports and sports venues superior guest Wi-Fi solutions.

    One of the unique features of the ANTlabs Advanced QoS 3-stage engine is its capability to allow multiple devices to share a single bandwidth rate limit per user. For example, you wish to allocate 10MB per guest or staff. Each user will only use up this amount of bandwidth among all his/her active devices, and it will be shared equally amongst them.

    With the Advanced QoS 3-stage engine, bandwidth utilization can be maximized by creating differentiated classes of services for different groups of users.

    All user traffic goes through the Advanced QoS 3-stage engine:

    Stage 1.  As we mentioned earlier, the first stage engine is unique to ANTlabs, and applies bandwidth rate limit to the individual user instead of device-level. Together with authentication, this innovation allows different users to be treated according to their VIP status or needs, instead of blindly applying one simple limit to a device.

    Stage 2.  This second stage engine defines different QoS Tiers (Guaranteed Tier, Premium Tier and Basic Tier) where different user groups can be assigned to the desired tier. Between the tiers, higher or lower priorities are given as to who gets the bandwidth, and the IT Manager can specify the total maximum bandwidth allocated to a tier for better control.  In this way, no single group of users can monopolize the whole network and the IT Dept has better visibility and control.  Furthermore, the surplus bandwidth from any bandwidth tier, can be temporarily re-allocated to another congested bandwidth tier automatically, optimizing network resources.

    Stage 3.  In the third stage, global application traffic shaping can be applied to network ports used by applications. This allows the bandwidth used by specific types of applications (of all users) to be controlled further.  In this way, more control can be applied so that no application will be starved for network resources.  Certain applications’ bandwidth consumption can be suppressed or given more priority to use up the network bandwidth.

    Advanced QoS Plus (QoS+) is the latest innovation leap by ANTlabs.  It has all the features of the original Advanced QoS module and more! As some applications like BitTorrent evolve to evade port-based application blocking, Advanced QoS+ classifies the applications more accurately based on website categorization without relying on which network ports are being used.  This signature-based website categorization is regularly updated to improve accuracy.  Another improvement is more fine-grained control for the global application shaping.  By allowing you to define QoS policies for different user groups, you can optimize the network further with better accuracy.

    For example, you can create a special user group to give priority to streaming services.   When you apply this to paying customers or VVIP customers, they will be able to enjoy better quality streaming in their rooms or anywhere in the network.   You can also make your network more family-friendly and safer by blocking adult-related, gambling sites or known blacklisted sites.

    How does Advanced QoS /QoS+ help improve the user experience?

    As far as the users are concerned, they will find that applications will now run better on their devices with Advanced QoS enabled. They may not even notice any slowdown or pausing in their applications, and simply assume more internet connections were added. If you are a VIP user, you will be pleased that even in public areas, you enjoy a faster and better quality of bandwidth compared to guest users. For the management, you can be assured that the existing network resources are well-optimized, and buying more Internet bandwidth can be delayed or dispensed with.  In some cases, you may even scale down the number of internet connections, and save costs since network usage has become more efficient.


    In conclusion, by deploying ANTlabs’ Advanced QoS / QoS+, you can greatly improve your network performance and ensure that critical applications always have the bandwidth they need. You don’t need a lot of network expertise or expensive hardware to implement.  By carefully planning your QoS strategy and implementing it correctly, you can take your network to the next level and please everyone (including the bosses!), leaving you more time to handle other pressing matters.

    Make sure to include ANTlabs’ Advanced QoS or Advanced QoS Plus module in your next budget request so that you don’t need to go back to ask for more in future!


    Automation: The Next Big Thing for Cloud and Digitization

    A for Automation

    According to Wikipedia, automation describes a wide range of technologies that reduce human intervention in processes. As the tongue-in-cheek section header implies, automation may very soon be the first thing on your priority to-do list.  Much has been said about the merits of moving to the “Cloud” or “Digitization”.  While shifting to the cloud or making business processes more digital will have some inherent productivity gains or even strategic advantages, we feel that automation is key to driving more impactful revenue and operational results.

    Automation is critical to providing a consistent and satisfying customer experience, benefiting from expert decision-making, or ensuring a high level of service quality.  These are attributes that are especially important for the service industry, including for Network Managed Service Providers (MSPs), Telcos, and the Hospitality industry.

    The power of “Automation” in the palm of your hand

    Benefits of Automation for the MSPs, Telcos and Hospitality Industry

    1.  As business activities pick up, MSPs that can scale up and down quickly and cost-effectively will be able to benefit from this trend. Venue owners and businesses who are facing uncertainty will prefer low start-up cost and pay-as-you-use subscription business models. MSPs who can provide flexibility to customers and tune their pricing models quickly will dominate the market. “Wi-Fi-as-a-service” (WiFi-aaS) is fast gaining popularity and increasingly preferred.

    2.  The demand for Enterprise managed Wi-Fi services should pick up as business owners and corporates want to outsource infrastructure investment or migrate from Capex to Opex spending model, while relying on MSPs to deliver reliable wireless connectivity for their operations. Centralized monitoring, with easy remote onboarding of customers while empowering them to self-help or administer basic functions are critical success factors.

    3.  It is important for MSPs to have deep understanding of their target customer segments and what is happening in their network, in order to spot business opportunities or respond quickly to operational issues respectively. In the past, many MSPs have built systems in silos to address different business opportunities which made data consolidation and analytics difficult or impossible. A good centralized system that incorporates data analytics with machine learning can help both Marketing, Business Development and Operations team to better address market segments and ensure service levels are met.

    ANTlabs ASP / ASP Cloud Managed Wi-Fi Solutions for MSPs

    There are many ways that automation can be applied to allow companies to reap the benefits mentioned earlier. Here are some examples that ANTlabs has helped evolve our customer’s business processes with our product features or our ability to help customize to their requirements.

    Backup and recovery automation for optimum system availability and resiliency

    With our ASP managed service platform or ASP Cloud service, configuration and recovery data can be backed up centrally. During system failures at a local site, high availability on our gateways automatically kicks in, preventing service downtime. Alerts are sent out automatically. In the event of a full local system failure, the MSP can quickly send in a replacement unit and restore the service fast with the backups that are stored in the cloud. With simple instructions, a non-IT staff can power up a gateway and allow both the gateway and ASP to automatically self-configure and restore optimized settings finetuned by IT group corporate. All these can be monitored remotely by an administrator(s) from our ASP platform.

    Dynamic login pages automation for best user experience and lower operation workload

    The IT Administrator of a MICE venue can predefine and configure new login portal pages to be shown at a specific location at a specific date and time so that they don’t have to remember to change or rush to make last-minute changes before a new event starts. Our Event Manager module helps save time, while potentially allowing non-IT staff to help in times of manpower crunch with the easy-to-use, and intuitive user interface.

    Automated surveys for more customer satisfaction insights

    A customer satisfaction survey can be sent automatically after a guest has checked out of a hotel or finished a meal at a restaurant. Instead of relying on staff to remember to do this mundane step and collate the results, such a simple form of automation can alert management if service standards have been exemplary or degraded.

    Improve Telcos and MSPs productivity and mitigate manpower resources crunch

    During government-mandated lockdowns, ANTlabs Tru’AUTH AAA and Tru’IP DHCP/DNS systems have aided Telcos and MSPs to respond rapidly to shifting consumption spikes of bandwidth in the network. AAA authentication, DHCP, and DNS service are important network services for a Telco. With automation, a much leaner network team could bring up new network coverage quickly and shift the required network resources to multiple sites without sacrificing quality. Coupled with the use of telemetry data, automated expert rules can help Operations teams during maintenance windows to ensure that pre-established operational procedures set up by experienced operators can be faithfully executed by less experienced staff. Real-time visibility on our systems, help provide human engineers or managers with speedy confirmation of service recovery and relevant reports for audit.

    The above examples illustrate the wide range that automation can enhance service quality in small steps for individual customers or create a huge impact on an operator’s network affecting millions.

    antlabs telemetry and network automation


    Automation is the next step to realize the benefits of shifting to the cloud and digitization of business processes. For more than 20 years, ANTlabs has built robust networking solutions for Telcos, MSPs, large venues, and the hospitality industry. With our unique insight into the needs of small venue owners to large-scale network operators, we continually apply automation through product innovation and customize for our customers. The ability to customize to our customers’ environment is one of many unique advantages offered by ANTlabs.

    Automation is key to driving more impactful revenue and operational results. It will allow the MSPs, Telcos, and hospitality industry to provide a consistently high-quality customer experience, respond faster to a dynamic business environment and ensure a high level of operational efficiency.




    managed wifi service providers. automation

    How Managed Wi-Fi Service Providers can prosper in 2022

    A new year of challenges and opportunities

    As the new Lunar Year of the Tiger is upon us, we are hopeful that 2022 will be a year of opportunities for managed service providers (MSPs) providing Managed Wi-Fi services. For the past 2 years, there have been unpredictable drops in customer demand and business activity, as well as sudden surges after lull periods. Shortage of labour and supply chain disruptions have also created unforeseen issues which require innovative solutions and change in mindset and paradigms to ride through the challenges. Technology and innovation are often cited as catalysts to help businesses transform to overcome these disruptions and emerge more agile and competitive. So how can MSPs position themselves to win in 2022?

    Here are 5 ways that we believe MSPs can take advantage of the business opportunities:

    1. As business activities pick up, MSPs that can scale up and down quickly and cost-effectively will be able to benefit from this trend. Venue owners and businesses who are facing uncertainty will prefer low start-up cost and pay-as-you-use subscription business models. MSPs who can provide flexibility to customers and tune their pricing models quickly will dominate the market. “Wi-Fi-as-a-service” (WiFi-aaS) is fast gaining popularity and increasingly preferred.

    2. The demand for Enterprise managed Wi-Fi services should pick up as business owners and corporates want to outsource infrastructure investment or migrate from Capex to Opex spending model, while relying on MSPs to deliver reliable wireless connectivity for their operations. Centralized monitoring, with easy remote onboarding of customers while empowering them to self-help or administer basic functions are critical success factors.

    3. It is important for MSPs to have deep understanding of their target customer segments and what is happening in their network, in order to spot business opportunities or respond quickly to operational issues respectively. In the past, many MSPs have built systems in silos to address different business opportunities which made data consolidation and analytics difficult or impossible. A good centralized system that incorporates data analytics with machine learning can help both Marketing, Business Development and Operations team to better address market segments and ensure service levels are met.

    ANTlabs ASP / ASP Cloud Managed Wi-Fi Solutions for MSPs

    With more than 2 decades of experience working with Telcos, service providers and hospitality players, ANTlabs has developed a centralized managed service platform called ASP (ANTlabs Service Platform) that can help MSPs address the opportunities outlined here. For customers with small number of sites, ANTlabs also provides ASP Cloud – a pay-as-you-use subscription service based on the same ASP platform to help them get started and realize the benefits that would otherwise be inaccessible to them.

    Launch New Cloud Managed WiFi Services Easily with ANTlabs ASP / ASP Cloud

    4. While wireless connectivity is indispensable, it is also fast becoming a commodity. Yet delivering good quality high-speed internet access (HSIA) service can make or break the success of WiFi-aaS for MSPs. Consistently high quality of service (QoS) requires end to end effort: from the edge devices providing differentiated network QoS control for different user groups, to controlling what kinds of application traffic has priority so that overall user experience is enhanced.

    Beyond HSIA: User-aware, location aware services

    Besides HSIA as a service, MSPs should allow other network services to easily launched and subscribed by end customers. ANTlabs ASP platform has the unique ability to allow MSPs to launch user-aware, location-aware services that are customizable to fit different customer segments. Take for example, a web filtering service to protect network users from malware or undesirable content. MSPs can provide a different customer profile with a corresponding set of filtering criteria for corporate use, versus, hospitality customers.

    5. Finally, with the trend to move business processes online and the shift towards Cloud operations, MSPs should leverage on the same WiFi-aaS platform to capture customers in other business verticals. ANTlabs ASP platform has multi-tenancy features that allow different end user organizations to subscribe and manage their own network, and flexible features that allow the MSPs to address different verticals like corporate, hospitality, retail, finance and even education. With small increment cost, MSPs can leverage on the ANTlabs ASP platform to expand their existing business by providing Managed WiFi business to new business verticals.


    ANTlabs has built the ASP platform to be a robust centralized managed service platform for MSPs to realize a scalable, and cost-effective Managed WiFi Service model with the added benefit of launching new services quickly, and allowing them to expand beyond their traditional hospitality or corporate customer base. As WiFi-as-as-service (WiFi-aaS) becomes the norm with more businesses going online in 2022 and beyond, MSPs who can capitalize on these trends will have first-mover advantage and build a sustainable and profitable business.

    antlabs web content filtering

    How web filtering secures your network further

    Updated: 8 December 2021

    Web content filtering is mostly used to keep inappropriate content out of kids’ hands and restrict timewasters in corporate networks. However, its primary advantage is not limited to preventing access to undesirable content. Reduced malware infections and access to phishing websites are among the lesser-known but probably equally important reasons web filtering is gaining favor in Enterprise WiFi networks.

    As users become more IT savvy, they need the reassurance that they are connected to a secure network, especially when they are not in their own homes. Of course, establishments can explicitly say that users use their WiFi at their own risk in their Terms and Conditions. However, while that may potentially save them from legal troubles, it may not shield them from PR nightmares should malware infect the users’ devices while in their network.

    How ANTlabs Web Filtering Service Works

    ANTlabs Web Filtering Service can be used in organizations with various WiFi hotspots. For example, if you administer a school WiFi network, you may wish to keep pupils from mistakenly viewing harmful content such as gambling, pornography, or hate sites. Because these new sites constantly change and new ones appear every day, manually blocking them is not an option. Another situation when category filtering comes in handy is when your school or workplace disallows visiting time-wasting websites like YouTube is prohibited during specific hours. YouTube and related sites are classed as “Time Wasters > Entertainment” and are restricted when this category is selected. You also save time and effort by not having to type in the URLs of these websites manually.

    ANTlabs Web Filtering protects users by giving operators the controls to block by category. It is based on DNS filtering—a type of content filtering using the DNS layer to filter based on IP addresses. The main difference is that this service gives blanket protection to sites you choose within your organization.

    When users bring in multiple devices, the filtering works across these devices and filters websites into six major categories (Security, Adult-related, Bandwidth Hogs, Illegal Activity, Time Wasters, and General Sites) with more than 60 pre-defined subcategories and inspects encrypted sites. In addition, the URLs categorized in the security module’s database are constantly updated, so service providers who subscribe to this feature shall have peace of mind knowing they have protection from the latest threats.

    Secure your network further with ANTlabs Web Filtering Service

    Other ANTlabs Product Features that Enhance Security

    ANTlabs’ built-in Anti-SPAM Protection and Anti-DOS Protection are two other ANTlabs product features that combine well with Web Filtering Service to secure your network further. Another ANTlabs gateway function that helps you secure your guest networks is Lawful Intercept, which helps your organization comply with numerous IT cyber regulations.

    The ANTlabs Web Filtering Service was released in December 2021 with ASP Cloud. It benefits guest WiFi networks like hotels, schools, universities, enterprises, and other corporate networks that aren’t classified as guest WiFi.

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  • How captive portal login pages improve guest WiFi experience for users

    It is 2021, and there are many ways to connect to the Internet. Do we still really need captive portals for guest networks? 

    What are captive portals? These are the login pages you see before you log in to a guest network (i.e., coffee shop WiFi, hotel lobby WiFi, etc.). Modern mobile devices provide a captive network assistant to detect captive portals. Once a captive portal is detected, the phones will launch a pseudo browser or captive portal mini browsers (CPMB) to load the captive portal page for the user to complete the login process (Source: World Broadband Alliance). 

    Before the existence of captive portal mini browsers, users needed to connect to an SSID, open one’s browser, and be redirected to the captive portal. This created challenges for end-users, such as browsers giving false security warnings for relatively harmless sites. Aside from that, the lack of browser standards did not produce a smooth user experience—it was a common sight to see broken pages. This not only mars one’s perception of the operator’s brand, but it also makes one question if they are logging in to the correct network.  CPMBs were therefore developed and added to devices back in 2014 to enhance security, interaction, and usability for public WiFi hotspot users.  Today, captive portals delivered through CPMBs continue to be part of the solution to improve guest WiFi experience.

    It’s not just about your brand memorability; captive portal login pages may serve as a reassurance to your guests. 

    Captive portal login pages allow you to put a brand or face offering the guest WiFi service. Why is there a need to do this? This is the first touch and impression that a WiFi network user sees and experiences, for starters.  If the WiFi network experience is fast, smooth and pleasant, by extension, it helps to reinforce good feelings towards the brand or associate the good experience to the brand.  As the saying goes: “First impressions matter”.

    Another benefit of using captive portal pages is reinforcing your brand stickiness and loyalty. There are two ways customers can have an affinity for a brand: brand stickiness and loyalty. Brand loyalty is when customers actively choose a brand because they resonate with the brand or find utility in its products. Brand stickiness is when you ensure your customers return to your business because you have created a welcoming environment or using your product is so convenient that it helps make their lives easier. Both brand stickiness and loyalty have the same goal—to acquire customers and keep them. Together with a great WiFi experience, it will entice them to keep coming back for sure. 

    For operators and service providers, branding is an easy experience when using ANTlabs products. ANTlabs captive portal login pages are easy to set up with pre-configured templates, drag-and-drop template editor, and the upload stylesheet feature. These features substantially reduce setup time. When operators deploy hotspots using existing templates and a few modifications such as simply uploading the operator’s logo, login pages are up and running in just a few clicks. You can also add advertising banners on these login pages to remind your guests about ongoing promotions at the venue. Or you can simply post reminders or say a nice welcome message when they see your captive portal.

    Aside from the consistent experience, seamless connectivity can make your guests remember your brand and your location. Let your guests connect conveniently by giving them various authentication options. With ANTlabs gateways, there are many ways to allow your guests to connect easily (i.e., social media, complimentary access, user ID & password, access code, MAC-level, PMS authentication and billing, email, SMS, Office 365, auto-login, credit card, account printer, etc.).   Each authentication method has its merit and value, and we offer you the flexibility to choose what meets your needs.

    Read more about ANTlabs’ latest list of WiFi authentication methods 

    Improve guest experience with data and seamless relogin

    When your guests choose to log in via social media on the captive portal, they also authorize you to access data that they have marked as public for social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. With user-provided public information, such as interests, age, or even birth year, operators and service providers can tailor the experience they provide to match the audience they attract or hope to attract. 

    ANTlabs Cloud Service (ACS) gives drill-down reports on the user demographics of each WiFi location. Aside from these insights, operators and service providers can have a glimpse of their network’s health across multiple sites. If you are running a chain of cafes and co-working spaces, your ACS dashboard will tell you if your café across the island is having connectivity problems—it does not matter if you are on vacation abroad; you will see how your network is faring using this. 

    Can we let users log in through captive portals once and be done with it so they will not do it over and over again? Yes, you can! Picture this: you log in to WiFi via your favorite café’s network, and then the next day, you go to their other branch, and you automatically get logged in to WiFi there as well without having to key in another access code or sign up via forms. This is easy to implement when using ANTlabs gateways. Operators and service providers can easily make their captive portals work with ANTlabs’ seamless relogin and global roaming features to allow this kind of experience. This way, their VIPs will get the best connection when connected to their guest networks, whichever branch they visit in the world. 

    Protect your business from legal entanglements through captive portals

    Businesses can indemnify themselves from illegal WiFi use or conform to regulatory requirements using captive portal login pages to collect end-user acceptance. Upon logging in to your guest network, you let the guests agree to the terms of use. This is where you can specify that your users agree that your business is not liable for what they are doing online while connected to your network or users granting their privacy permission for data collection and usage. Your captive portal should require them to tick on a checkbox to state that they understand what they are doing and know the possible consequences. Having this will protect not only the users but also your business. 

    User Data Privacy

    ANTlabs recognizes how important user data privacy is, and our products are GDPR-compliant. Whether you use ANTlabs gateways or any of our cloud services and platforms, you are assured that you give your users the power to manage their data themselves through the ANTlabs user portal. Here, not only do you guarantee your guests that their data is safe when they are connected to your network, but you also empower them by giving them the option to remove their data. Thus, you protect them while you protect your business.

    CPMBs were made to add a security layer for users. Over time, its use has evolved. The pages vary from a simple login to forms that ask for more information to QR code scanning and launching mobile apps. Unscrupulous entities found ways to exploit user data and disregard privacy, so WiFi-enabled device manufacturers started to enforce ways to protect users.

    One way that device manufacturers implemented to protect user privacy is MAC randomization, and another is limiting CPMB capabilities to interact with native apps. In the latest iOS and Android updates, they started to limit what CPMBs can do, so for WiFi hotspots that use captive portals, the WiFi onboarding experience may be disrupted. ANTlabs has developed solutions to adapt and reduce the disruptions caused by these developing situations.

    Given these disruptions, are captive portals still necessary? The answer is a resounding yes, especially for operators who offer guest WiFi to countless devices with varying requirements. Captive portals via mini browsers are still the most common and accessible mechanism for users to sign on to the guest WiFi.  Furthermore, captive portals protect both the operator and the users.

    To ensure that the connectivity is manageable and safe for all users, operators must know who is connected to their network—captive portals allow service providers and operators to do this. Logging to WiFi through captive portals can serve as an agreement that the operator is providing a safe WiFi connectivity service to their guests. In return, the user is expected to follow the terms set by the service provider.

    For secured roaming, Hotspot 2.0 does offer an industry-approved way for different mobile devices to connect seamlessly without the use of captive portals.  However, unless every single person in the world has enabled Hotspot 2.0 and similar technologies, there is no single way to ensure safe WiFi connectivity if we do without captive portals.

    Can we imagine a world with no captive portals for guest WiFi networks? Not anytime soon because the benefits outweigh the mild inconvenience for both operators and users. 

    Ask us today about how ANTlabs captive portal login works to improve your guest networks. 

    Images from Pixabay, Mobile vector created by stories – www.freepik.comAlexander Suhorucov from Pexels,  cottonbro from Pexels


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