Why Not All Public Hotspots Will Be Free

We often point out flaws in the commercial WiFi hotspot business model plans, saying that (1) most places that are trying to offer it are better off focusing on their core business (usually selling food) and using free WiFi as a promotion to bring in more customers and (2) most for-pay WiFi sites are way too expensive for the type of person who would use it – since so many companies have to take their cut. Now, Silicon.com is arguing why there’s still a place for commercial WiFi offerings. They make some valid points – but it looks like a very small market. We’re now talking about “captive” users in hotels and airport lounges as well as corporate users who are willing to pay just so they can see a single bill from a company (which makes sense how?). Either way, that’s not a market big enough for all the hype it’s been receiving.

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