Monday, October 19, 2009

Whither WiFi hotspots?

I was at the Newbury Hilton this afternoon with a colleague to review a Business Process Transformation pitch. As I arrived first, I powered up my laptop to check out the Internet access. I guess I was hoping and expecting a free WiFi service: no such luck.

The entry browser page was to the BT Openzone portal, and the current price there is £5.88 for 90 minutes (there are other buy-plans where more purchased time costs less per minute).

Naturally I backed out of that and plugged in my Vodafone 3G USB modem instead. The deal here is that £15 buys you 1GB of data - that's 30 hours surfing, 650 emails and dozens of downloads according to the website. I guess that checking my email, sending a Skype message to Clare and looking at a few pages probably cost me much less than a pound.

I think the economics of WiFi hot spots are starting to look very dubious. Perhaps I should say even more dubious than they have in the past.