Esat BT signs up Dublin’s Conrad Hotel to Wi-Fi

25 Feb 2004

The five-star Conrad Hotel in Dublin is to offer customers Wi-Fi services following an agreement with Esat BT.

The service will be available on the ground and first floors of the city centre hotel. According to Laurens Zieren, general manager of the Conrad, the service is being launched in response to demand principally from business customers.

“We have seen a greater demand from our customers, both from Ireland and abroad, and especially among corporate customers, for Wi-Fi,” said Zieren.

Paul Convery, head of BT Openzone Ireland, BT NI, claimed the deal cements Esat BT’s position as the leading provider of Wi-Fi in Ireland.

“Esat BT unveiled its first wireless hotspot in Dun Laoghaire Harbour a year ago and this latest deal brings to over 85 the number of live BT Openzone sites on the island of Ireland signed up over the past 12 months,” he said.

According to Convery, the high level of deployments was being driven by strong demand for wireless broadband across a variety of sectors, especially retail and hospitality.

With BT Openzone, users with either a Wi-Fi-enabled laptop/PDA or a wireless LAN access card can access data at speeds of up to 500 kbps (almost 10 times faster than a standard 56K modem), enabling them to send and receive large quantities of information at broadband speed. Users need to be within an approximate 100-metre range of BT Openzone sites, which are marked with the BT Openzone logo and signage.

Users can pay for the BT Openzone service either through vouchers from BT Openzone sites, or on subscription from Esat BT. The voucher costs €10 for one hour of usage or €24 for a 24-hour pass. BT Openzone subscription costs €30 per month for 300 minutes or €120 per month for unlimited access.

BT Openzone customers in Ireland can also access over 400 sites through the BT Openzone network in the UK, and thousands of sites in Europe and the US through BT’s roaming partners.

By Brian Skelly