Small businesses get cheaper Wi-Fi kit

BTopenworld has made significant cuts in the prices of the wireless networking kit it sells to its business broadband customers

BTopenworld announced on Monday that it was slashing the cost of the Wi-Fi that it sells to small and medium-sized businesses.

The Internet Service Provider has reduced the prices of its wireless networking equipment, which is based on the 802.11b standard, by up to 22 percent. The move will make it cheaper for SMEs to link several corporate machines together wirelessly, without the need for cabling, if they have a corporate broadband connection from with BTopenworld.

BTopenworld's wireless access point will now cost £107.66 +VAT, compared to £138.72 +VAT before -- a reduction of about 22 percent. The prices of USB desktop adaptors and laptop cards from BTopenworld have both dropped by some 16 percent, to £60.85 +VAT and £73.19 +VAT respectively.

Several BTopenworld Wi-Fi starter packs have also come down in price, by between 16.9 and 20 percent.

Many manufacturers, telcos and ISPs are becoming increasingly interested in Wi-Fi, and its popularity is growing with users too.

On Monday mobile phone maker Qualcomm announced that it was planning to introduce Wi-Fi functionality into its chipsets as a way of giving a phone high-speed Internet access.

BT will launch a commercial network of Wi-Fi hot spots later this summer, and is hoping to have 400 such hot spots by summer 2003.

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