Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/11/20/the_cloud_orange/

Orange and The Cloud hook up for Wi-Fi

10,000 hotspots for Orange customers

By Bill Ray

Posted in Mobile, 20th November 2007 14:34 GMT

Orange has done a deal with hotspot aggregator and operator The Cloud, which will make an extra 7,500 Wi-Fi hotspots available to is customers.

The deal gives Orange the largest reach of Wi-Fi between the UK mobile phone operators (10,000 hotspots), though the world of Wi-Fi is becoming increasingly complicated as the deals between companies allow customers of one network to connect to another.

For example, prior to this deal Orange customers could access Wi-Fi points run by BT OpenZone, alongside BT OpenZone customers, but BT OpenZone customers could already access networks owed by The Cloud, or hotspots run by other companies which had agreed to be aggregated by The Cloud, while Orange customers could not.

Orange has been unable to tell us exactly how many UK hotspots were available to its customers prior to this announcement, though it estimates about 3,000, so the overlap with BT OpenZone appears to be minimal.

This confusion about who can access which hotspots is one of the problems with mass adoption of Wi-Fi, which needs more simplicity, though as more networks get aggregated together the problem should eventually disappear. ®