Fixed Price, then No Price WiFi

Wi-Fi Networking News has a story that points to a Bloomberg report about SBC offering $1.99 Per Month for Unlimited Wi-Fi to its DSL customers. SBC is building out its hotspots, and has partnered with Wayport and new McDonald. Glenn notices that everyone is going to fixed price, and I agree with him, that this is a good short-term strategy. I think in a few months, we will see WiFi hotspots become as a tack-on service for say T-Mobile to lure customers to its mobile network or SBC’s effort to win DSL users. I think the clock is ticking on the standalone hot-spot business: just a matter of time. Except as Glenn says: Airports still sit in the catbird seat: captive audiences may still have to pay more for usage. Actually Wall Street Journal puts it best when it says:

As for people paying $50 or so a month to be able to access the Web wherever they are — that’s a different story. With a few exceptions like T-Mobile, the business of providing wireless connectivity has been a wasteland, akin to the online pet-food companies that sprang up during the Internet bubble. The simple truth may be that outside of homes and offices, and outside of obvious white-collar tar pits like hotels and airport lounges, there really may not be much of a market for high-speed mobile Internet connectivity.

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