O2 launches its free nationwide Wi-Fi broadband network today, pitting the UK's largest mobile operator head-to-head with rivals including BT and The Cloud.
The Spanish-owned operator will open up free Wi-Fi access to all internet users, including customers not with O2, through partnerships with restaurants, shops, and high street retailers across the UK.
O2 said it will double the number of premium public internet hotspots – those which do not piggyback on existing residential networks – currently offered by rivals by 2013. O2 claimed it is the only "genuinely free" Wi-Fi network and the only one open to customers from other companies.
2:55 pm on Jan 26, 2011 (gmt 0)
I wonder what they're getting out of this
3:03 pm on Jan 26, 2011 (gmt 0)
Funded by advertising. First to market as well I would think, if you can cover the UK with free wireless, you've got quite a grapplehold on the market.
3:18 pm on Jan 26, 2011 (gmt 0)
how so, can they make everyone use the same homepage even, or search engine ?
How would they pump adverts on to phones from other networks assuming they've got an advertising path to phones on their network
3:27 pm on Jan 26, 2011 (gmt 0)
I guess we'd have to try it to know for sure, however, I suspect that you'd be faced with intersticials each time you log on. In addition, the wifi will be via partners, so you won't get it everywhere.
Even so, it's a bold move.
4:46 pm on Jan 26, 2011 (gmt 0)
Interesting to see how performance will compare with my mobile connection. Come to that, if I had coverage at home I could actually verify if the dial up speed connection that I have had for the last couple of days on my fixed line was down to the phone connection or to my ISP.
4:51 pm on Jan 26, 2011 (gmt 0)
Remember those old systems where you'd either get free internet or paid to surf, that would run ads along the bottom of your screen? That brings back memories (I tried it for about an hour before getting rid of it). I had a buddy that at one time had hardly any screen space left he was running so many ads.
9:09 am on Mar 16, 2011 (gmt 0)
It reads more like an apple iPhone/iPad advert when will people can that junk ..
10:45 am on Mar 16, 2011 (gmt 0)
Bah. Everywhere you look the same picture. Companies throwing out their services for "free", crushing the competition and then you have to give up your privacy to use their services so they can cash in.
I'd gladly use facebook, googlemail and all the other stuff if I would be able to pay for the service and keep my privacy instead. As long as it is "free" I am not signing up.