Wi-Fi hotspots are becoming big business, especially for the large telecom providers who are desperate to gather user data in exchange for providing free Wi-Fi.
The fact that O2 UK’s four-year long partnership allowing their customers free BT Wi-Fi hotspot access is coming to come to an end on July 1 2013 shows that O2 is happy to take a hit in customer service in order to take control of monitoring their usage.
If these multi-nationals had something as powerful as Wireless Social they would be ditching their partnership agreements even more quickly!
A message on O2’s official website says that following this date the carrier will be transitioning across to their own nationwide Wi-Fi offering.
O2 states they have 8,000 hotspots spread across the UK, though this is far from the reach that BT offers through their Openzone hotspot offering. After July 1 O2 customers will be required to pay in order to use BT Wi-Fi hotspots, though customers on rival network EE will still be able to connect for free. Alternatively, if you’re a BT Broadband customer, you’ll be able to take advantage by using those account credentials instead.
Since O2 was the original launch partner in the UK for the iPhone, there’s likely a sizeable number of customers who will be affected by this change. How do you feel about it? Is the BT Wi-Fi something you’ve been using a lot of over the years?