O2 has upgraded the Wi-Fi connection software for its mobile-broadband customers, making it possible for them to use BT's Openzone hotspots.
The update to O2's Connection Manager software and the BT Openzone deal, both announced on Monday, provide an additional 3,000 Wi-Fi hotspots to O2's mobile-broadband users. The operator already has 7,500 available, including its own hotspots and those belonging to partner The Cloud.
Many of the new Openzone hotspots are in locations such as railway stations, airport lounges, conference centres and motorway service stations, as well as in Caffè Nero and Starbucks coffee houses, and Hilton hotels.
The update to Connection Manager also adds new functionality for those using the operator's dongles for mobile connectivity. One new feature is a data counter that allows users to monitor their data consumption. The data counter can be set to send notifications to the user when 75 percent, 90 percent and 100 percent of their usage allowance has been reached.
In addition, Connection Manager now enables people to copy their laptop's existing Wi-Fi profiles into the software during its initial installation. This should make it easier to automatically log onto home and work networks, according to O2.
Existing customers should receive the upgraded Connection Manager on Monday. However, new customers will only get the new version of the software — and access to the BT Openzone hotspots — from late July.
The updated version of the software works only with Windows operating systems for now, O2 said. The operator already gives mobile access to BT Openzone hotspots to its iPhone customers.