Data: A big giveaway to sustain voice?
Alan Reiter has some interesting reports from the Wireless Airport Association about Sprint PCS's nascent 802.11 b wireless service. Sprint PCS Vision pricing, introduced last week, made data a giveaway. For $100 a month, you can get 2500 minutes of voice service plus unlimited data connectivity. With a PCMCIA card for your laptop or PDA sharing the same account (which currently a free upgrade), you could stay connected to the network all month wirelessly and use about an hour a day of calling.
Alan reports that Sprint PCS's director for wireless LANs describes the company's branding philosophy, which sounds like the old carrier quality of service (QoS) assurance: "In essence, he compared creating a WiFi brand to creating a bank ATM business. Regardless of the type of ATM, the banks and networks involved, a customer of any bank knows how to use an ATM machine."
If it is all about QoS, which makes seamless roaming a priority, then the hotspot owner does not expect to collect revenue based on their own equipment, but on connecting people to the network and a billing system that they can tap for transactions (e.g., want to add a hotel on your current business trip and have it on your phone bill? CLICK HERE). Network organizers, like Boingo become the intermediaries that aggregate hotspots for use by major branded carriers.Posted by Mitch Ratcliffe at October 22, 2002 05:15 PM | TrackBack