Maybe it is the wrong concept

Wednesday, June 28, 2006 at 22:54 | Posted in Finland, helsinki, it, technology, wifi | Leave a comment
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Ken Belson writes in the New York Times about WiFly, a wireless network in Taipei accessable for the reasonable prize of 12,50 $ a month:

Despite WiFly’s ubiquity – with 4,100 hot spot access points reaching 90 percent of the population – just 40,000 of Taipei’s 2.6 million residents have agreed to pay for the service since January. Q-Ware, the local Internet provider that built and runs the network, once expected to have 250,000 subscribers by the end of the year, but it has lowered that target to 200,000.

What they are asking for the service is certainly not much but it is apparently more than people are willing to pay in a market saturated by comprehensive free wifi access. As Peter Shyu testifies in the NYT article, there is no problem to find a free wifi hot spot in the Taiwanese capital.

So what kind of an approach could work better in point of view of the service provider? In my location in the outskirts of Helsinki, there is no wifi access that I could reach at home which means that I need a wired web connection. A number of ISP’s provide it here so I have a modest choice of the operator.

I was very glad to detect that my ISP recently announced that they are going to put up 100 wifi hot spots in central Helsinki. The first spots are already in operation. The nice part in my point of view is that the access is free for their customers who are paying for the wired connection.

So instead of competing with the modest number of existing free hot spots, my ISP is hoping to use the free access to their wifi spots as an additional argument to make their wired connection more attractive. Which means that my next computer is absolutely going to be a lap top. I will be able to hook it up at home and surf wireless in down town without an extra cost.

A simple concept to increase costumer satisfaction. Once the number and coverage of free hot spots in Helsinki will reach the Taiwanese level, it will of course become obsolete. But so will I by then, in all likelyhood.

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