from the there's-an-idea dept
It seems that everyone’s looking for a WiFi business model these days. A lot of people seem to like the Boingo plan to aggregate hotspots around the country. Here’s a slightly different idea, though. Joltage Networks is trying to start up a WiFi franchise system. The idea is that you can buy a franchise from Joltage and get all of the software for authentication, customer care, billing and tracking. You have to supply your own broadband access and WiFi access point. In exchange you pay a franchise fee and share some of the revenue. They’re also offering a deal for WiFi hotspots who want to remain free. In those cases, Joltage doesn’t charge at all. They seem to think no one will go for this option – but I hope they’re wrong. If there were a restaurant or cafe around here that offered WiFi for free, I would certainly give it a lot more of my business. Still, depending on how well it works, I think the Joltage idea may have more legs (if less marketing muscle) than Boingo – since it has a clearer value proposition for companies to sign up as a franchise.