[December 1, 2006] BT plans multi-city Wi-Fi in U.K
By Wi-Fi Planet Staff
December 1, 2006
BT plans to build Wi-Fi networks in cities across the United Kingdom. And to get started, it has picked at least one major partner. Motorola will “design, deploy and manage city-wide Wi-Fi networks” — specifically, mesh networks — built under the BT Openzone brand. The companies will begin with six out of 12 planned cities, including Birmingham and Newcastle. The six other cities, including Westminster, will expand use of Cisco equipment already has in place, but BT has yet to reveals who it will work with. Of course, not everyone is happy about BT’s plans. For once it’s not people who think Wi-Fi makes them sick, the other growing wireless trend in the U.K. This time, it’s just good old-fashioned vendor rivalry. System integrator React Technologies told TechWorld it’s upset that these very public-oriented projects were not put out to the market for bids. React works with mesh equipment from Strix Systems. BT says it didn’t want to delay things, but may do a formal public tender for services in the future. Other providers, such as CitySpace (which will unwire 3 square kilometers of Bristol and expand the “Technology Mile” section of Islington), attack the BT deployments for not being free. The Cloud accuses BT of lacking openness by limiting the applications users can run on the networks. Overall, the BT expansion will help them further push a fixed/mobile convergence (F/MC) service called Fusion.