BT’s wifi network has reached half a million hotspots. Fon has made a major contribution toward its growth, since about 90% of the BT hotspots are BT Fon. The rate of growth is such that, together with BT, we are on the way to one million hotspots. This is the goal for February 2010.
With this initiative, BT responds to the exponentially growing demand for mobile connectivity. The sites include BT FON hotspots, BT Openzone, 12 wireless city centres and BT Openzone hotspots via the BT Business Hub. BT Openzone hotspots can be found in hotels, coffee shops and airports. Users of BT FON are part of the Fon wifi network which itself comprises more than 600,000 spots worldwide.
Mobile data traffic growth is now doubling every year. Handheld devices have been a strong driver for this growth, as an increasing number of affordable devices run data intensive applications. Although 3G is widely used, consumers seek more reliable coverage and faster speeds. Wifi networks are also valuable for mobile operators in that they help offload traffic from their 3G networks, amongst other advantages.
Dave Hughes, BT Retail’s director of Wireless Broadband predicts that “Pretty soon there will be a Wi-Fi hotspot on every corner in the UK”. Fon is well suited to help meet the growing demand for ubiquitous and affordable mobile connectivity. Fon spots are numerous and widespread and their locations complement those of commercial hotspot networks that focus on coffee shops, hotels and other businesses. Also, Fon’s uniquely scalable model, based on user-generated infrastructure, is capable of responding to this exponentially growing demand cost-effectively.
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