BT has unveiled the first of its three trial wireless local area network hotspots. The three hotspots are located at the Heathrow Hilton and at BT buildings in London and Suffolk. The trial sites will be known as ‘Openzones’ and will offer visitors wireless broadband web and email access on their laptops. Users of the service will need to install an appropriate network card for access to the service.
BT has yet to confirm what the cost of the service is likely to be. The company is estimating that the fee for regular business users wanting unlimited access will be £95 per month. Metered access to the service is likely to cost 10 pence a minute, while the cost for occasional users of the service will only be announced nearer to the service’s commercial launch on August 1.
BT is planning to follow up the creation of the three trial sites by opening a further 20 sites in time for the service’s launch. The company is also aiming to open another 50 such sites by the end of 2002. BT has already agreed deals with Hilton Hotels, Bluewater and Earl’s Court Olympia. Talks with Travel Inn are scheduled to take place in the forthcoming weeks.