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Wi-Fi Hotspot Network Wins Funding

Posted: 12th Jul, 2004 By: MarkJ
The UK Wi-Fi hotspot operator The Cloud has won "significant" funding from VCs 3i and Accel Partners. Details were not disclosed, although it's hoped that the added cash will help to increase coverage:

The Cloud is currently rolling out sites in the UK, at a rate of 100 a week, it claims - almost certainly as part of its deal with its partnership with payphone company NWP Spectrum, which owns 10,000 public phones in the UK. The Cloud is currently at 4300 hotspots in the UK, which isn't that much more than the 3000-odd it had in place by the end of 2003. It may be adding 100 a week now, but it clearly hasn't been through much of 2004.

Polk also said the company will develop "ease of use" software that makes it easier for customers to connect and sign on to Wi-Fi networks and easily roam across networks from a variety of providers.

However, The Cloud's business remains focused on wholesaling - selling access not to the end user but to other service providers. Many of the UK's key W-Fi providers are taking the same approach, widely seem as the best way of getting large numbers of punters using and - crucially - paying to use the networks.


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