Joltage Calls It Quits

from the another-hotspot-provider-bites-the-dust dept

The concept of commercial WiFi hotspot providers still just doesn’t make sense. We’ve said it here before, but the business model just isn’t there. I can see it making sense on top of another service, but not as a standalone. There was a first generation of hotspot companies that all went out of business, sold out cheaply, or changed business models entirely. Then, along came the second wave of commercial hotspot providers insisting they could do it right. Yet, they started out by offering pretty much the same exact business model – so it’s really not a huge surprise to hear that one of these “new” WiFi hotspot providers, Joltage, has announced they’re shutting down. They blame the economy, which is a weak excuse. The real problem was that they couldn’t find a compelling business model. Joltage’s “different” business model was that they really had a franchise business – where anyone who wanted to set up a commercial hotspot could buy the equipment from Joltage and they would handle all the billing. But, that model is based on the flawed premise that there are tons of people out there waiting to pay lots and lots of cash to use commercial hotspots. So far, the number of those people isn’t much more than the number of employees at commercial hotspot companies.

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