The demise of U.K. startup MyZones Ltd. -- launched last year in a blaze of publicity -- isn’t the only sign of the industry’s recent reality check (see MyZones Zones Out).
The majority of the market’s big guns admit that serious work needs to be done if service providers are to generate revenues from hotspots.
“All providers would like usage to be greater,” comments Intel Corp.'s (Nasdaq: INTC) mobility marketing director Andrew Greenhaigh. “We need to generate knowledge that users are in a hotspot. Demand is low... You could argue it is disappointing, but it is where I would expect it to be right now.”
“We are not going to see massive increases this year,” warns Chris Clark, CEO of BT Openzone. “There has been too much focus on technologists developing platforms rather than on the sales and marketing... The technology is proven to the industry but not the users.”
“There has been too much focus on a network-centric approach rather than on customers,” concurs Dave Hagan, president and COO of Boingo Wireless Inc.
Despite the hotspot hindrances, at least the industry is making some headway in attempting to open up networks to a wider customer base. The launch of Intel-backed RoamPoint and the addition of three hotspot service providers to the WeRoam network indicates that the market is keen to overcome these early setbacks (see RoamPoint Links Hotspots and WeRoam Extends Roaming).
Elsewhere among the product pitches and marketing waffle, Unstrung managed to find a small set of news items worthy of note.
Full marks for originality, folks.
— Justin Springham, Senior Editor, Europe, Unstrung