Broadreach Opens Up

Broadreach launches white-label product enabling third-party service providers to offer branded WiFi experience as part of their customer offering

April 6, 2004

3 Min Read

LONDON -- Broadreach Networks Limited, one of the UK’s leading providers of Internet hotspots, has today announced the launch of the first ever white-label Wi-Fi product for third-party service providers, which utilises revolutionary “virtual access point” technology from Colubris Networks. From 5th April, Broadreach will release eight unique Service Set Identifiers (SSIDs) to operators wishing to enter the Wi-Fi space, allowing ISPs and mobile operators to provide their subscribers with a totally branded Wi-Fi experience as part of their customer offering. Six SSIDs have already been pre-allocated with all eight expected to be assigned by the end of May.

Currently, subscribers to third-party service providers can already roam through Broadreach’s ReadytoSurf™ service. The new virtual access point technology ensures that when a user opens their wireless-enabled device in a Wi-Fi hotspot, they will be able to select their own operator directly from the start of their session. By broadcasting multiple SSIDs from a single set of equipment, Broadreach will therefore be able to offer selected service providers control over their customer experience, giving the user a fast, familiar click-and-go log-in process and greatly simplifying the roaming functionality. With over 250 hotspots in the UK, Broadreach will ensure that users not only have a choice of locations but also a seamless choice of service provider.

Magnus McEwen-King, CEO Broadreach Networks, says: “We believe that customers and service providers want a common brand experience and that is what we have given them - after all, if I’m a Virgin.Net customer I would naturally look for a Virgin.Net experience. We started the concept of neutral hosting and have now taken it to another level by putting the customer rather than the network first. Service providers have recognised that building your own network involves high initial capital expenditure and a multitude of deals with location owners to develop the desired coverage. Our ongoing dialogue with ISPs and mobile operators (both existing and potential service partners) revealed that operators were looking for a low-cost, flexible way to offer an own-branded Wi-Fi experience for their customers.”

He continued: “Not only does the lack of initial investment for this product make Wi-Fi provision easier for businesses, but because it enables a wholly branded offering, Wi-Fi access is much simpler for the end user – all they need to do is look for their own service provider’s SSID. We know that people want to access the Internet with a device of their choice, in a location of their choice, and pay via the method of their choice: the only way to increase Wi-Fi usage is to make it simple. This product gives the service provider what they want – control over their brand and a service by which their customers receive the same experience they are already used to. Combining these two factors with a Wi-Fi network of well known branded locations such as train stations, cafes, hotels and motorway service stations means we have all the ingredients for large scale adoption.”

Broadreach Networks Ltd.

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