A World Without Wireless Hotspots?

from the now-don't-panic... dept

Following the demise of Cometa last week, suddenly some people are “concerned” that all these wonderful WiFi hotspots are going to all go away. This seems like a bit of an overreaction to one company whose repeated missteps were well known throughout the industry. As the article points out, more and more people are now making travel arrangements based on their ability to have wireless access where they stay (and even at the airports they fly in and out of). If you have a situation where so many people want something, clearly there’s an opportunity. Just because one company couldn’t figure out that their business model would never work, doesn’t mean that hotspots are going away. Companies are increasingly realizing that wireless access is important for business – whether they charge for them or even when they give away access for free. There are plenty of reports about places that say the return on free WiFi is significant. Also, many hotels and restaurants that set up free WiFi for their customers realize that the benefits for employees pays for itself as well. It seems a bit premature to assume that because one company couldn’t make a bad business model work that the entire industry is doomed.

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Comments on “A World Without Wireless Hotspots?”

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1 Comment
Rob says:

Hotels may be getting Wifi BUT...

So far, my experience with hotels that have “installed WiFi” have not been particularly encouraging. The problem: they do not understand the range and line-of-sight limitations of WiFi, and think that putting one AP in the lobby, or in the central courtyard, is enough to allow them to claim “WiFi access in all rooms!!!” The Best Western Orance County Airport (in southern CA), for example, has one AP in the lobby and a card in each room proudly proclaiming “WiFi access”. Of course the signal is only good for a small percentage of the rooms that happen to be near the lobby, or in relatively unobstructed line-of-sight to it.
Bottom line: don’t expect that WiFi to be accessible in the room YOU’RE staying in.

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