Deutsche Telekom's wireless unit T-Mobile touted usage statistics of its Wi-Fi "hot spots" when announcing an expansion of its network yesterday. The company said more than 450,000 unique customers paid for T-Mobile HotSpot service in the past 90 days. Customers typically spend 64 minutes online per session, up from 45 minutes last year, T-Mobile said.
While T-Mobile is excited about the accomplishment, objectively, the lackluster total must be quite a disappointment for Wi-Fi hot spot market advocates, seeing as T-Mobile has been offering the service for three year. In an apples-to-oranges comparison, it's interesting to note that Time Warner Cable already counts over 475,000 cable IP phone customers, after a mere nine months of aggressive marketing.
With WiMAX ready to turn entire communities into hot spots, the question is how long will T-Mobile's Wi-Fi infrastructure realistically create value for the company?