At 1.5m users Bitbuzz marks 10 years of public Wi-Fi in Ireland

9 Sep 20131 Share

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Pictured: The BitBuzz team

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Wi-Fi provider BitBuzz now has 1.5m registered users across its footprint of 466 hotspots, the company revealed on the tenth anniversary of its founding.

Across Ireland for the first six months of 2013 Bitbuzz had a total of 1,514,540 registered users compared to 858,200 at the end of June 2012, representing a substantial increase of 76pc year-on-year – making it comparable to a mobile network operator in terms of user numbers.

Last year the company launched Bitbuzz Freedom on-street technology, which would not have been a requirement ten years ago.

“When we started out in 2003 our main target was business customers with one device using Wi-Fi in hotels, as these were the people with a Wi-Fi requirement,” explained BitBuzz co-founder and managing director Shane Deasy.

“However, since then the market has changed dramatically. As smartphone ownership has become ubiquitous, not to mention the uptake of tablets, everyone has a demand for Wi-Fi and expects to find it in all public places.

“Had we stuck with our initial offering we would not have been able to keep up with new market demands. Nowadays most hotel guests have a smartphone, are on social media and Wi-Fi streaming has effectively replaced in-room TV as people watch Netflix or RTE Player on their devices.

“In a hotel with 100 bedrooms we no longer build a network for 100 devices; if there are two guests per room that is 200 users with sometimes up to four devices each; therefore, to ensure a high-speed service, Bitbuzz would now build a network with the capacity to handle 800 devices at any one time.”

Last year the company launched Bitbuzz Freedom on-street technology, which would not have been a requirement ten years ago.

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com