Feeds

Don't price Wi-Fi to death, operators warned

As if they care

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Mobile phone networks have been warned not to harm their future revenues with data tariffs designed to give the ailing WLAN hotpot business a death blow.

AT&T Wireless, which now boasts EDGE-speeds on most of its stateside GSM/GPRS network, recently launched an all-you-can eat data plan for $24.99. By comparison, WLAN provider Boingo charges $21.95 a month and the Surf and Sip network $20 a month, if the subscriber takes out an annual subscription. But that three dollars a month brings a lot of extra convenience: in most of the larger urban areas the users can pick up a signal anywhere: there's no need to find a Starbucks or McDonalds. (Your reporter even found five bar GPRS coverage deep in the Louisiana swamp, miles from the nearest small town.)

But telecomms analyst Analysys doesn't think that carriers will be able to compete with Wi-Fi hotspots and achieve adequate 3G revenue per Mbyte simultaneously.

"It is critical for mobile operators to be active in the hotspot business," says Analysys, although why carriers are being urged to lose even more money isn't entirely clear. T-Mobile is the best known example of a carrier developing a HotSpot strategy in parallel to its cellular data network.

But carriers might find it's an itch they can't help but scratch. Most of their data revenues still come from text messaging, while their 2.5G and 3G networks have been built and (mostly) paid for. They want someone, in fact, anyone, to come. Historically, too, utilities only prosper when they offer flat fees. Which belatedly, the networks have just begun to do.

In May, Cometa became the highest profile casualty of the Wi-Fi bubble when it went under having built only 250 out of a projected 20,000 hotspots.®

Related stories

Newspaper discovers moderately happy Wi-Fi user
Cometa crash bursts hotspot bubble?
Public Wi-Fi still has look and feel of dead duck
Blame game starts as Wi-Fi Bubble pops
Hotspots cold turkey or Big Mac?
Ronald McDonald to save Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi the debate bubbles on
Public Wi-Fi has look and feel of a dead duck

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
EE fails to apologise for HUGE T-Mobile outage that hit Brits on Friday
Customer: 'Please change your name to occasionally somewhere'
EE plonks 4G in UK Prime Minister's backyard
OK, his constituency. Brace yourself for EXTRA #selfies
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
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.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.