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T-Mobile buys world's fourth biggest Wi-Fi provider

Snaps up Metronet

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T-Mobile's Austrian subsidiary has acquired Vienna-based Wi-Fi hotspot provider Metronet for an undisclosed sum.

Founded in January 2002, Metronet has built up a significant network of over 300 802.11b access points in public sites throughout Austria. The largest wireless Internet access provider in Austria, Metronet also claims to be the fourth largest in the world.

T-Mobile will add Metronet's network to its broader, international Wi-Fi coverage map. For existing T-Mobile customers the change of ownership will mean little, since the mobile phone network has had a roaming arrangement with Metronet for over a year now.

The Metronet sites will presumably now be re-branded under the T-Mobile HotSpot marque, and will adopt T-Mobile's €7.95 for one hour, €15.95 for three hours and 24-hour access fro €24.95 tariff. T-Mobile customers can access the network free of charge for now, but a €1.99 for each 15 minutes of access tariff is on the way. ®

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