SBC Plans Public Wi-Fi Network

It seems like every telecom company is suddenly looking into building their own public WiFi network – which could mean plenty of trouble for early hotspot operators or aggregators like Boingo. Following Verizon’s announcements last week, SBC is now saying that they, too, will offer WiFi. They even have a “Vice President of Wi-Fi” (now, that’s quite a title). It sounds like this announcement was really just prompted by the Verizon announcement last week, and the plans aren’t even remotely fleshed out yet. There’s no indication if this is going to just be for SBC DSL subscribers or anyone can sign up. I’m sure Boingo’s response will be something to the effect of this “validating the market”, and that they’ll try to sign them up as a partner provider – but the need for Boingo may diminish as the telecom players cover increasingly large areas with WiFi on their own.

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