CAPEX vs. OPEX: What You Need to Know Before You Purchase Your WiFi

Written by Danny Mareco Danny Mareco | March 8, 2018 | Read Time: 4 mins

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You already know that the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. But did you ever think of your business’s Wi-Fi network as an elephant?

Providing secure WiFi for your organization is not an inexpensive task, and it can feel like trying to swallow an elephant whole. What if your business doesn’t have a large enough budget to cover the costs that come with a high-performing wireless network? No problem. The smartest way to tackle that elephant is by switching from a CAPEX to an OPEX model of purchasing secure WiFi.

First, let’s look at the differences between the two models and the impact each one can have on your business.


A capital expense is any investment made by a company to improve or expand. Buildings, land, and computer or networking equipment typically fall into this category.

In contrast, an operating expense would be any ongoing, recurring cost associated with running a business, such as rent, payroll, and utilities.

The CAPEX model for purchasing a wireless network, besides being financially challenging—requiring a large up-front payment—often results in subpar network performance and ownership of a rapidly depreciating asset that will just need to be replaced in a few years, which will call for—you guessed it—another large expense.

Alternatively, here’s what the OPEX model of purchasing WiFi looks like: it shifts the approach from making a large up-front purchase for a product to an ongoing operational expense for a service. This service is offered as a managed WiFi subscription called WiFi as a Service.

Problems with the CAPEX Model

In the past, your company has probably purchased its WiFi infrastructure as a large, up-front capital expense. But you may have noticed some big problems creep up as a result of the CAPEX approach:

  • It creates different levels of service across your business. As you expand wireless access into new rooms, buildings, or locations, the new technology outperforms the older technology. We call this “lumpy” service, and it’s about as appealing to your end users as it sounds.
  • It can’t keep up with the speed of technological change. New IoT and mobile devices are hitting the market constantly. Due to these constant changes your WiFi infrastructure needs to be upgraded every 3–4 years to keep up, but this funding schedule probably won’t sit well with your CFO under a CAPEX model.
  • It pits the IT department against the rest of the organization for a limited amount of capital. Even though everyone in the organization benefits from WiFi, it’s still considered an IT expense. It’s not fair, but it’s reality. Other departments are clamoring for their funding, and because there’s a fixed amount of capital to go around, you’re often left working with a much smaller amount than what you really need.

WiFi as a Service

WiFi as a Service treats your WiFi network like the mission-critical utility that it is, like electricity or running water. It combines all of the hardware, software, and managed network services your business needs into a monthly subscription.

This OPEX approach to purchasing WiFi addresses all of the problems posed by the CAPEX model:

  • Instead of “lumpy” service, you get a seamless solution: fast, reliable, secure WiFi throughout your entire space. Every inch of your network is carefully designed, deployed, and monitored to ensure optimal performance every time, for every end user.
  • We align your WiFi network with the latest IoT, smartphone, tablet, and other technologies in your end users’ hands. And we match the upgrade/refresh on your system to the life cycle of those devices.
  • You’re no longer fighting other departments for a piece of the pie, because the cost of your network will be portioned out over time using a fixed monthly payment.

Because you’re paying for your network, and all the support it needs, on a monthly basis, you don’t have to settle for lower quality infrastructure or sacrifice crucial services like security and support.

Our WiFi as a Service subscription packages provide you with the best networking components and all of the ongoing services required to keep your network running smoothly—and securely.

Wi-Fi as a Service is a complete solution. Subscriptions include:

  • Customized WiFi and security design specifically for your business
  • 24/7 monitoring
  • Full warranty and support for the life of the system
  • Flexibility to upgrade, change, and scale the solution
  • Role-based access control to allow all types of users and devices to securely connect on one system
  • Next-generation security against malware and other malicious threats
  • Integrated security for IoT
  • PCI compliance
  • Cloud-based network monitoring and performance testing
  • Guest management: custom splash pages with options for paid WiFi, and social media integration
  • Managed WiFi network support from wireless and security certified network engineers

Bite by Bite

We understand that many organizations come to us because they’re struggling to find, implement, and pay for a secure WiFi solution that fits their budget and needs. It’s what motivated us to develop our WiFi as a Service product: a comprehensive, customizable subscription that makes providing secure WiFi easier than ever.

Don’t let the technical complexities or high dollar signs associated with enterprise-grade WiFi stand in between your business and the secure WiFi network it needs.

P.S. No elephants were harmed during the writing of this article.

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