More and more large Telcos are incorporating WiFi as an essential part of their strategy. Today Deutsche Telekom announced a double flatrate product in Germany “call&surf” which includes unlimited access to DT’s national WiFi Hotspot network if you buy their broadband. This will probably accelerate that FON teams up with a DT competitor since FON is the largest WiFi network in Germany by number of hotspots.

Also our partner in France, Neuf Cegetel, recently acquired Paris based WiFi network Ozone in order to make their broadband offer more attractive ahead of the FON deployment. Neuf subscribers can then use their WiFi / GSM telephones to make flatrate VoIP calls whenever they are in the reach of a WiFi signal.

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Federico el Sueco on May 31, 2007  · 

Very good, but when can we use Nokia phones for Skype on these networks??

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Christian von der Ropp on June 2, 2007  · 

Probably not, Frederico. Yesterday I learned why Telcos are taking on WiFi, when I waited for my flight at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport:
After connecting to KPN’s WiFi network (the only one available at Schiphol) I could read, that I’m actually connected to “a premium KPN hotspot facility, which differs from a regular KPN Hotspot”, so I was ready for a premium wireless experience.
But after paying a premium rate of € 6 for 30 minutes of hotspot usage, I found out, that neither VoIP nor VPN would work properly, as the necessary ports were obviously blocked, allthough this restriction hasn’t been mentioned at anytime.
That forced me to use my mobile phone, which by coincidence was connected to KPN’s 3G network, and call home for € 0,49/min instead of a free VoIP call.
How much turnover could KPN and other mobile operators lose by Voice-over-WLAN and what’s the cost of blocking it by dominating the WiFi market on an airport?

Regulatory authorities should not only open the WiFi market on airports, as Martin suggested in an earlier article, but they should also force a clear labeling when internet access is restriced.

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Federico el Sueco on June 6, 2007  · 

Well, but I would be happy if only Nokia would allow Skype on the phone to use when I am at a free hotspot – and those are growing e.g.Fon’s

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