Irish users of Wi-Fi can now access more than 20,000 additional international Wi-Fi hotspots in 11 countries across Europe, the US and Asia following the signing of roaming deals with other international carriers as part of its membership of the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA).
BT Openzone customers will be able to use the extended Wi-Fi access service at no additional charge through the remainder of 2004 with future pricing being determined by BT in early 2005.
The global roaming agreement builds on BT Openzone’s existing agreements with T-Mobile (Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Netherlands, UK, US), The Cloud (UK), Telia Homerun (Sweden), Sonera Homerun (Finland) and Airpath (US).
“Joining forces with other operators to make hotspots available to all is critical to the future of Wi-Fi,” said Bill Murphy, chief executive officer of Esat BT.
“This agreement with members of the WBA will help break down the barrier of hotspot locations being linked to particular providers and ensures that our customers benefit from the geographical strengths of all five operators.
“Mobility is central to business. We offer our customers access to all their applications and information, wherever they are, on their choice of device, whilst utilising the best network available,” Murphy said.
The chairman of the WBA, Kyong Yu, commented: “This announcement redefines the way that international travellers will stay connected while travelling around the world.
“For the first time, the customers of our participating carriers will be able to roam throughout the world with one Wi-Fi account. These roaming arrangements set the standard for a uniform and consistent approach to global roaming that should help drive widespread adoption of Wi-Fi,” Yu said.
By John Kennedy