Feeds

TapRoot gives up on Walking Hotspot subs

Tries flat-rate temptation

Boost IT visibility and business value

TapRoot, creator of the Walking Hotspot, has given up trying to take subscriptions or do deals with network operators in favour of simply charging punters $25 for the product.

Walking Hotspot turns a Symbian or Windows Mobile handset into a Wi-Fi access point, allowing a Wi-Fi-equipped laptop to access the internet over the phone's 3G connection as easily as accessing a hotspot. The software has been in beta for a while, but this means a search for a business model rather than technical testing.

TapRoot's original idea was to sell the software to handset manufacturers or network operators, but getting into handsets that way is really tough. Instead the company tried a subscription model, which is still supported at $7 a month, but punters balked at that, so now it's just charging $25 for installation on one handset.

Part of the motivation in selling to network operators was to avoid annoying them. Using Walking Hotspot is against the terms and conditions of several operators' unlimited data tariffs, and the TapRoot was concerned that operators would block their customers - though that would present a considerable technical challenge. In reality it hasn't happened. The operators have either failed to notice, or the scale of usage isn't a concern to them for the moment at least.

Competitor JuikuSpot set itself up as a disruptive technology designed to annoy the network operators. That's selling for $20 at the moment - discounted from $33 - for a similar handset-lifetime deal. JuikuSpot though is S60 only and we've had more success using Walking Hotspot. Both applications hammer the battery pretty badly.

Walking Hotspot runs on S60 and Windows Mobile devices - those equipped with Wi-Fi. The company would love to make a version for RIM and the iPhone, but tells us that the development kits for those devices don't provide the kind of low-level radio access they need - even assuming that Apple would sanction such an application. ®

Seven Steps to Software Security

More from The Register

next story
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs
Zero, not infinity, is the Magic Number customers want
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.