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Wireless hotspots cause customer confusion

Wireless ISP chief blasts industry for failing to make hotspot access easier for users.

Wireless hotspot access is still confusing to majority of users and wireless ISPs are failing to make things easier for them to get online, according to an expert.

More than 50 providers offer wireless hotspot services in the UK and, according to Divine Wireless chief executive officer Guy Rosenhoiz, there are too many differences in payment methods and schemes between the providers which puts users off from using such services.

"Historically the user experience when connecting to a hotspot has been very poor. Not only do customers need to understand what is being offered, they can often spend far too long registering," he said.

Rosenhoiz said that configuring a laptop for all the different hotspot providers can be a task in itself, "especially when consumers are continually getting different access pages every time they try to connect to the internet when they are out and about."

He said the current wireless ISPs appeared to be focused purely on extending their networks, establishing more hotspots and improving their technology but are missing the bigger picture which is "to make it easy and convenient for the end customer."

"All of this has created a great deal of confusion in the market, meaning people have found it hard to see the benefits of connecting on the move," said Rosenhoiz. "This has resulted in many choosing to disregard WiFi and never attempting to connect to the internet on the move."

He said that wireless hotspot access should be standardised "in the eyes of the consumer" and this would encourage more people to use wireless and "enhance the market potential." of the technology.

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