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UK Wi-Fi network nabs German WISP

Third-biggest WLAN player

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UK Wi-Fi network The Cloud has become Germany's third-largest WISP by acquiring local player Airnyx, the company said today.

The terms and conditions underpinning the acquisition were not made public. Both firms are privately held. Airnyx' chief, Volker Werbus, will stay on as The Cloud's local Country Manager.

Airnyx was founded two years ago in March 2003, and has since built up a network of hotspots at Agip and BFT petrol stations, and other locations throughout Germany. Airnyx operates around 500 hotspots, a Cloud spokesman told The Register. The Cloud pledged the "rapid" expansion of its German network, though it declined to detail its plans and targets.

All of them will become part of The Cloud's own network, which numbers more than 5000 hotspots in the UK, across a wide range of locations, including pubs, the British Library and the Royal Festival Hall. It also operates over 50 sites in Sweden, the result of a deal struck last November with Jernhusen, the state-owned company which manages real estate associated with Sweden's rail infrastructure, including its stations.

Like the UK operation, The Cloud Germany will not only sell Wi-Fi access direct to customers but will open its network to third-party service providers. It already allows customers of T-Online, iPass, Boingo, GoRemote (aka Gric) and others to roam on its network. In the UK, The Cloud has similar arrangements with O2 and BT Openzone. ®

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