Germany to go WiFi-crazy
The German incumbent has signed up with FON, the Spain-based WiFi hotspot specialist. The Fon model is to offer pricing breaks to broadband users who open a proportion of their broadband access service to other WiFi users (as they pass the house or building) thus effectively creating what observers say is Germany's biggest public data access network.
Using FON, DT plans to pepper Germany with over 2.5 million additional WiFi hotspots by 2016 and thus to accommodate the expected continued increase in data access demands from smartphone and tablet users.
Fon claims it already operates over 7.7 million hotspots worldwide. DT currently has 12 million broadband lines and more than 12,000 hotspots.
Observers say the fact that DT CEO, René Obermann, has been given announcement and press release quote duties indicates that the company sees this as a major strategic move, not just a techie patch-up,
Deutsche Telekom is planning Fon WiFi coverage in its other European markets - Greece, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Hungary - also this year.
In January Dutch operator KPN also announced a wifi tie-up with Fon that for 1,500 hotspots in the Netherlands. BT has a long-standing agreement with FON also.