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Carrier WiFi

Europe Hits 1,000 Hotspots

There are more than 1,000 public WLAN hotspots in Europe, with more being added each week. However, many of them have been in place for some time, especially in Scandinavia, where the majority are located (about 750 in Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Denmark combined).

Next in the pecking order are Germany, with about 100, and the U.K., with about 70.

But there is momentum in the buildout, as evidenced by the likes of pan-European hotspot provider Megabeam, which is aiming to be the number one wholesaler of public WLAN access to service providers in the region. It has 40 live hotspots at present, CEO Ryan Jarvis tells us, and will add "another 140 minimum this year," in addition to striking roaming deals to increase the number of access points available to customers.

Megabeam currently has hotspots in seven countries – Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the U.K. - and plans to be in another three before the year's end, including Spain.

Jarvis says he has already struck five roaming deals and is looking to name all five partners soon. He's keen to point out that Megabeam's flat-price offer – it does sell direct to corporations and individuals at present, but it sees wholesale as the long-term business plan – does not change when users roam onto partner networks. "There is no additional cost for using the hotspots of a partner," he says.

Now, if only that was the case in the world of mobile telephony…

— Ray Le Maistre, European Editor, Unstrung
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