Customers of BT Openzone's public wireless (Wi-Fi) Hotspot services will be frustrated to learn that the operator has failed to reach a new roaming agreement with The Cloud. The original deal allowed both operators to increase their wireless footprint by sharing network coverage, which will now end on 2nd October 2008:
A spokesperson for The Cloud said: "It's disappointing for BT Openzone customers that they will no longer be able to benefit from the convenience of our hotspots - we are disappointed that BT could not reach acceptable commercial terms, though we are certain everyone will understand that our service partners, O2, Orange, AT&T, iPass and many others are happy to do business with The Cloud."
The Register reports that The Cloud has begun offering disgruntled BT Openzone subscribers 30 days' free Wi-Fi if they swap to their services. Meanwhile BT Openzone still has a lot of Hotspots, including 3,000 in the UK and 40,000 worldwide:
BT wrote: "It's a decision we haven't made lightly. While we know this affects the Wi-Fi coverage you might be used to, or hotspots you regularly visit, the great news is that because the availability of Wi-Fi from BT has grown significantly in the past year, we don't think you'll be too disadvantaged."
We question the wisdom of BT's move given the growing popularity of Mobile Broadband services, which have a tendency to make Wi-Fi Hotspots look less than attractive.
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