BT announced today that it is halfway towards its goal of building a million-strong Wi-Fi hotspot network, with high-speed public wireless broadband now available at 500,000 homes, businesses and city centres in the UK and Ireland.
The sites include hotspots provided by the BT FON Wi-Fi Community, BT Openzone, 12 ‘wireless’ city centres, plus BT Openzone hotspots via the BT Business Hub. Locations offering Wi-Fi access include Hilton, Thistle and Ramada Jarvis hotels, Caffe Nero and Starbucks coffee stores, Welcome Break and Roadchef Costa service stations, BA, Flybe and Skyteam airport lounges.
BT: ‘We’re the UK’s largest broadband retailer, and have biggest Wi-Fi network’
According to BT, 4.8 million broadband and BT Mobile Broadband users have inclusive network minutes in their contracts to surf the net, work or make cheaper VoIP calls. Last year BT also reduced the cost of its Wi-Fi for casual users, making it available from as little as 0.5p per minute. A further 50,000 hotspots are available in the UK and overseas through international roaming partners.
Gavin Patterson, chief executive officer, BT Retail, said: ‘We’ve reached a significant milestone in making Wi-Fi available in places where people want to get online. As the UK’s largest broadband retailer, we’re happy to offer the biggest Wi-Fi network too. We’ll continue to expand from here.’
Increasingly, Wi-Fi capabilities are being included in mobile phones, and most high-profile smartphones can be used for internet access using Wi-Fi hotspots. These mobiles include the iPhone 3GS, Nokia N97, LG KC910 Renoir, Samsung i900 Omnia and Sony Ericsson W960i.
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