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BT Openzone to cut hotspot charges for business

£5 a month, 5p a minute tariff on way

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BT's Openzone Wi-Fi service is to introduce new tariffs designed to attract occasional business users put off by paying large up-front subscription fees.

Openzone currently offers an unlimited access package for a whopping £85 a month. Cheaper packages are available, down to £10 a month, but these bundle fixed amounts of access time. Exceed that time, and the user starts paying a hefty per minute fee.

According to a ZD Net report, however, Openzone will soon roll out re-designed tariffs, kicking off with a £5 a month subscription with no bundled minutes but a per-minute rate of just 5p.

Use less than the 120 minutes provided in the Openzone 120 £10 a month package and you're worse off, but go beyond that time and the cheaper per-minute rate starts to bring costs down. The £10 subscription charges users 20p a minute once the bundled 120 minutes of access time has been used up.

The fiver-a-month package is aimed at businesses with lots of users who access the Internet wirelessly on an infrequent basis. The package will only be made available to companies willing to commit to more than 100 subs and a high access rate, so Openzone is making sure it rakes in the cash no matter what.

Users will need to stay online for over 1600 minutes for the £5 a month, 5p a minute deal to work out more expensive than the £ Unlimited tariff - which may now be dropped.

Openzone is currently attempting to re-pitch itself as a wholesaler, and has signed Orange and Vodafone as re-sale customers. Both mobile telcos are offering their own business user mobile Internet access via Openzone hotspots and roaming partners. However, both companies are simply testing the water to determine what level of demand there is for such services. ®

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