Hot-Spot Hopefuls Could Get Burned
It looks like the technology press is finally beginning to notice that the commercial WiFi hotspot business may not have a very strong business model. Despite all the hype and the groundswell of consumer support for WiFi equipment – no one seems interested in paying for WiFi access (though, plenty of companies have expressed a desire to build such hotspots). The problem, as many people have explained repeatedly, is misunderstanding the audience – and, thus, mispricing WiFi hotspots. All the commercial hotspot operators seemed to be focused on the mythical “mobile professional” who will work out of a Starbucks every day. There really aren’t too many of these people out there – and not all of them are willing to shell out large monthly fees to get their internet access in a coffee shop. WiFi providers need to realize that WiFi hotspots aren’t profit centers. They’re promotional items.