Telefonica launches global wi-fi hotspot service with single sign-on in 110 countries

Telefonica's mobile customers will be able to purchase global wi-fi packages that offer access to 1.3 million hotspots worldwide.

Telefonica has launched a new global wi-fi product, offering users single billing and sign-on for 1.3 million wireless hotspots across the world.

The new Telefonica hotspot service is aimed at globetrotting execs, and attempts to make it simpler for business travellers to buy minutes from public wi-fi connections across the world.

The service, called Universal Wi-Fi, supports iOS and Android mobile devices as well as Windows PCs and Macs, offering access to hotspots in 110 countries across Europe, Africa, the Americas and Asia.

It follows Telefonica's launch last year of its pan-European 3G plus hardware bundles in partnership with Dell. The packages give users access to Telefonica's 3G networks in 29 countries across Europe. Like Universal Wi-Fi, the NetReady services are pitched as making access, billing and expenses management simpler for businesses, but come with premium pricing.

Telefonica hasn't released any details of the cost of Universal Wi-Fi, but is promoting it as a flat rate service within its mobility portfolio, with single sign-on at various hotspots, which can be used across up to five devices.

The company claims all major hotels are supported, such as Marriot, Hyatt, Sheraton and Hilton, as well as Gogo Inflight, which is included at no extra cost. It also claims to be available at 90 of the biggest 100 airports.  

Universal Wi-Fi follows AT&T's global wi-fi launch, which saw the telco giving its customer access to Boingo Wireless' hotspots at international airports.

ZDNet has asked Telefonica for pricing and will update the story if it receives a response.

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