Swisscom to speed up Wi-Fi rollout

Summary:Golfers could soon be surfing wirelessly at the 19th hole, as Swisscom Eurospot insists it still plans to expand its Wi-Fi network

Swisscom Eurospot is planning to accelerate its Wi-Fi hot spot rollout over the next few months.

Chris Brown, Swisscom Eurospot's UK managing director, has predicted that the company's recent takeover of Megabeam will mean faster deployment of public access wireless networks across Europe.

"I think the takeover has to mean that rollout will speed up," Brown told ZDNet UK News this week.

Currently, Swisscom Eurospot has 200 hot spots up and running across Europe, with another 500 sites signed up. "We're looking to double the number of contracted sites this year, to 1,000," Brown explained.

Most commercial Wi-Fi hot spots are sited at hotels, conference centres, coffee shops and transport hubs. Brown said that Swisscom Eurospot could widen the range of locations, in an attempt to offer a more compelling service for business travellers.

"We may start looking at places that don't fit today's profile of a likely hot spot site -- golf clubs, for example," Brown suggested.

Last summer, Megabeam announced that it would roll out its service at many of the UK's major railway stations -- a move that looked to give the company a major advantage against rivals such as BT Openzone.

Ten months later, though, only London Paddington is connected.

Brown admitted there had been some problems with this rollout, but promised that significant progress would be made in the next couple of months.

Several other operators have also said they have similar plans, leading to speculation that railway stations will be a key Wi-Fi battleground.


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Topics: Networking

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