Sprint PCS Gets Serious About WiFi Build-Out

Mike reviewed Sprint PCS’ initial foray into WiFi, wherein Techdirt essentially supported Sprint’s choice to roam onto Wayport, but chastised the high price points offered. Today, Sprint ups the ante with a commitment to build-out hotspots at 3000 truckstops across the US. Apparently 25% of the 4.5M US truckers have laptops, and present a viable market opportunity for WiFi. I think Sprint is making a relatively smart move, here: The truckers are probably heavy cell phone users, and will shift towards SprintPCS for voice and 1xRTT data access. Furthermore, one of the problems of PWLAN is that there is no roaming, so a mobile professional like me needs 5 different WiFi accounts during any given business trip. However, by targeting and locking up an entire market segment, the roaming issues are greatly diminished. The big problem with the announcement was arithmetic: Sprint says they will bring on 300 truck-stops per quarter, with a goal of 3,000 over the five year agreement??

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