BT Wi-Fi Services Fon and Openzone Combined
BT consolidates wireless offering and declares importance of Wi-Fi to consumers and businesses
BT is set to merge its BT Fon and BT Openzone services into one re-branded network, BT Wi-Fi, in an effort to make it easier for its customers to find Wi-Fi hotspots.
The company has also released the findings of research which indicates the growing importance of Wi-Fi access to businesses and changing consumer trends.
“As tablets and smartphones have become increasingly popular, connecting to the internet through Wi-Fi has become more relevant,” said BT Wi-Fi CEO Andy Baker. “We are proud to offer our customers free access to one of the biggest Wi-Fi networks in the world and wanted to make it easier for our customers to find a hotspot and get online, it made sense for us to bring our estate under one unified brand.”
BT announced earlier this year that it had more than 3.5 million public hotspots in the UK, and six million in total in more than 100 countries. BT will also be the sole supplier of Wi-Fi top the Olympic Park during this summer’s Olympic Games, in what it claims will be the largest high-density Wi-Fi deployment ever.
BT says 21,000 people log into BT Wi-Fi every minute during peak times and that one billion Wi-Fi minutes were used over the last three months.
According to research from Informa Telecoms and Media, people of all demographics are beginning to understand the importance of Wi-Fi, with 17 percent stating that they would choose a place with a hotspot than one without. In addition, 21 percent said that they would visit a place again if it had Wi-Fi and thirteen would recommend it to a friend.
“When BT pioneered the introduction of Wi-Fi in the UK 10 years ago nobody could have imagined just how central to everyday life the technology would eventually become,” said Informa Telecoms & Media principal analyst, Thomas Wehmeier. “For today’s connected consumer, Wi-Fi is an essential way to connect and communicate via an increasing number of smart devices, from the smartphone to the tablet and, in the future, to virtually any consumer electronic device.”
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