Feeds

Free Wi-Fi punted to pubs and hotels

War supping

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

The Register's Wireless LAN Channel

Café owners and publicans can offer Wi-Fi access free of charge, courtesy of the European launch of FREESPOT.

FREESPOT's first European location is the Kingsway Hall Hotel in Covent Garden, London. Punters will be able to get Internet access from the bar and lounge area of the Kingsway Hall Hotel free of charge. The network uses via wireless LAN technology from Buffalo Technologies.

Craig Reid, technical sales engineer at Buffalo, explained the business model behind the scheme.

"We believe you can get people into a business who wouldn't normally come by offering free WiFi access. Buffalo makes money from selling the equipment to do this," he said.

FREESPOT equipment differs from vanilla 802.11b technology in three important respects. There's pop-up technology so users are greeted with an advert of the day when they first log on and a 'privacy seperator' in access equipment prevents consumers sharing their hard disk contents. Last, there's a timed access facility so WiFi access is only available when a business is trading.

FREESPOT is a product from Melco Inc. the parent company of Buffalo Technology UK. The service is already up and running in 500 locations in Japan.

Immediate plans relolve around setting up 10-15 reference sites in the UK and pushing the business model out to Nordic and Italy and Spai.

Longer term there are plans to introduce faster 802.11g technology into new locations and to expand FREESPOT to the US, selling it as a marketing tool to coffee chains competing with Starbucks, for example. ®

Related stories

Hey! You! Get onna The Cloud
Public Wi-Fi has look and feel of a dead duck

The Register's Wireless LAN Channel

Reducing security risks from open source software

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.