BT Openzone and ISP KeConnect have signed an agreement that will allow subscribers and card holders of both companies to roam each others Wi-Fi hotspots across the UK from May 2006.
Branded as KeZone, KeConnect’s Wi-Fi hotspots are set to grow quickly providing customers with access to over 2,500 hotspots throughout the UK by the end of the year.
KeConnect intends to introduce KeZone hotspots to a broad range of public places through its existing reseller base. With over 450 resellers and 4,000 KeConnect broadband users, the potential for the company to provide the consumer with increasing internet access whilst on the move, is very real indeed.
Commenting on the anticipated uptake of KeZone hotspots, Managing Director of KeConnect, Robert Kemp said:
“With our reseller base spread across the UK, we already have a number of businesses eager to introduce Wi-Fi to a variety of public places that do not currently have this facility. The business proposition for our resellers is considerable because of the increasing demand for wireless hotspots.
“In the locations in which they install hotspots, they will receive a percentage of the value of the minutes used, but they also benefit from very minimal set-up costs. They are only charged 75% of the value of the pre-paid cards once the end-user has activated it, plus a 30 pence charge for the production of the card. This enables the initial outlay to be kept to an absolute minimum, yet the business opportunity can be maximised with the potential to earn up to a 40% profit share.”
Julie Ragbourne, Head of Roaming and Wholesale, BT Wireless Broadband added:
“It’s critical for the future of Wi-Fi that service providers join forces to promote and drive awareness of the benefits of the wireless technology available at hotspots. Our BT Openzone customers already have access to over 8,400 hotspots in the UK and Ireland and over 30,000 globally, and this new partnership highlights our commitment to keep growing that number.
“Working with KeZone will take us another step closer to BT’s vision of enabling customers – whether business users or ‘mainstream’ consumers – to access all their information on their own choice of Wi-Fi enabled device wherever they are, whilst receiving the highest levels of service delivery and customer care.”
The widespread introduction of Wi-Fi usage outside the office and home only becomes viable if hotspots are as easy and fast to use as possible. This is where KeConnect’s KeZone hotspots offer a real advantage to the end user as they will be connected via the KeConnect network, which is well-renowned for being under-contended. This makes for much faster connectivity, irrespective of the location of the hotspot, providing the KeZone end-user with easy and instant access.