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The Cloud - the UK-wide broadband WiFi network that's part of Inspired Broadcast Networks and Leisure Link Group - is to launch its service in more than 1,000 pubs in the UK later this week.

The Sunday Times reports that a number of pub chains - including Punch Taverns, Mitchells & Butler and Greene King - will be offering the service. The Cloud is aiming to roll-out its WiFi service to 3,000 locations by the end of the year.

Full details are to be announced on May 21 when the service is officially launched.

Talking of pubs, BT also wants to bring wireless broadband to thousands of boozers across the UK.

The monster telco is unveiling a new 'off-the-shelf' product developed in tandem with Toshiba that will turn an ADSL connection into a WiFi "hotspot".

The WiFi "hotspot in a box" costs £400 or under £300 for the self-install version. BT is looking to flog the gear to pubs, restaurants, small hotels - even garage service stations.

The "hotspot in a box" idea is just one of a number of schemes announced by BT to help drive the take-up of its WiFi service.

For example, it's also working with Cisco and Nortel to offer a two-month 'try before you buy' promotion. Companies signing up for the offer will get a trial WiFi network, laptop cards and a number of BT Openzone accounts and free vouchers.

And anyone who buys BT's Voyager ADSL wireless modem for the home from the Carphone Warehouse will get six months free Openzone 120 access, worth £60. ®

Related Story

Wireless Net startup plots 30K-ish UK hot spots in 2003

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