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PicoPoint and Ericonet team up to provide WiFi hotspots in Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda
November 19, 2003
AMSTERDAM -- PicoPoint has moved a step closer to a complete global presence by contracting Ericonet, a Wireless ISP that intends to provide HotSpots in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda.
PicoPoint will supply Ericonet with a centrally managed back-office and roaming solution – providing essential authentication, authorization, accounting, billing and settlement services that will enable Ericonet to offer a carrier-grade Wi-Fi network in the region. Ericonet is committed to servicing 5 star locations throughout East Africa and have already secured contracts with the Dar es Salaam International Airport and the Golden Tulip Dar es Salaam Hotel. The Dar es Salaam International Airport is the first Airport in Central and Eastern Africa to deploy Wi-Fi.
Wi-Fi, short for Wireless Fidelity, allows laptops and other mobile devices to connect to the Internet wirelessly. During the past few years thousand of HotSpots have been set up by Wireless Providers around the globe. According to the Wall Street Journal the commercial viability of selling Wi-Fi internet connections has recently experienced significant development. Over the next few months, many of the world’s largest Wi-Fi providers are expected to begin signing "roaming" agreements, for instance with the Global Broadband Internet Access (GBIA) roaming network, that will give their customer’s access to other providers' HotSpots much like the alliances that connect far-flung groups of automated teller machines and traditional mobile-phone networks.
“At Ericonet we recognise the challenges posed by the ever changing global environment”, says Eric Mwenda, CEO of Ericonet. “Together with our partner PicoPoint, we are able to offer our customers the freedom to move and work freely without the inconvenience of cables and operate within our wireless networks eliminating the 'dead time" between meetings or flight connections at airports whilst at the same time be assured of privacy and security. As PicoPoint recently has successfully completed the Intel Wireless Verification Program, this means that our wireless public HotSpots are Intel Centrino compatible, and we will benefit from the Intel Wireless Identifier Program, a program specifically designed to stimulate usage of HotSpots. Recent studies have proven hotspot usage doubles after using such signage!"
“PicoPoint intends to be the number one hotspot facilitator and roaming provider in the world, and signing a contract with Ericonet has taken us one step closer to our goal.” says Ben van Dongen, CEO of PicoPoint. “PicoPoint’s commitment to servicing providers globally is underscored by the relationship with a professional party such as Ericonet.”
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