Interview With Wayport's CEO
Wayport has certainly gone from “yet another hotspot provider” to the one to watch in the WiFi business – as it seems they’re supplying the same 650 hotspots (soon to grow at a pretty rapid clip, if you believe the stories) to just about everyone who wants to offer WiFi to their customers. News.com is running a good interview with Wayport’s CEO, Dave Vucina. He explains their strategy as a network service provider, and points out how they differ with aggregators like Boingo. Boingo wants to be customer facing, and aggregates a number of hotspots (including Wayport’s) that they don’t own and manage themselves. None of that is new. The more interesting point is Wayport’s strategic plans to avoid having to compete with the carriers. While the interviewer points out that a carrier could come in and just build out the hotspots themselves, Vucina believes that Wayport’s head start on the market is enough to keep them ahead – since they know all the issues that are likely to come up. I agree that the headstart keeps them ahead initially, but, so far I’ve seen nothing that indicates they’ve done anything so special that it couldn’t be replicated with a little effort. What’s really given Wayport staying power is its access to prime locations and realizing the need to partner with all the big players as quickly as possible to make them customers instead of competitors.