Sponsor: BUSINESS EVERYWHERE -Orange combines WiFi, 3G & GPRS to simplify mobile data access

by Staff Writer | posted on 19 December 2005

Orange UK today announced a more efficient way of working for business customers, with the launch of Business Everywhere – an integrated mobile solution for connecting to business applications via the Internet which will include access to over 13,000 WiFi hotspots across the UK and the rest of the world.

Launches INTERNATIONAL WiFi network

Available in January 2006, Business Everywhere software for laptop data cards allows access to 3G, GPRS and WiFi networks. Combined with new data pricing. the new software will greatly simplify the management of mobility solutions for business customers by offering one contract, one bill and one customer service point of contact, regardless of the network accessed.

The combined service differs from competitor offerings by giving users total flexibility to mix their use of WiFi, 3G and GPRS, setting no requirements to ‘use or lose’ minimum portions of any network type. The new data pricing will also include country specific flat rates, whether users are in the UK or roaming abroad. Multiple cash bundles of various prices mean that the service will be available to sole traders through to large organisations.

In advance of the Business Everywhere service, Orange WiFi Access will be launched on 19 December, providing business users with access to an international network of hotspots. The service will be offered in partnership with Orange France, BT Openzone and WeRoam providing Orange business customers of all sizes with access to around 1,700 WiFi hotspots across the UK and over 12,000 internationally. The e-voucher WiFi service is ideal for small businesses and occasional users, who wish to avoid committing to a monthly WiFi contract.

The new WiFi service will enhance the Orange business mobility offering by enabling higher bandwidth data access at public wireless LAN hotspots available at locations regularly used by businesses. These include airport lounges, hotels, coffee shops, train stations and other major transport hubs. Orange customers will benefit from a simple integrated ‘e-voucher’ payment structure that includes same price billing for UK and international roaming usage.

Shaun Orpen, Marketing Director of Orange Business Solutions in the UK, said: “WiFi complements the Orange 3G, GPRS and HSCSD networks and Business Everywhere will enable our business customers to effortlessly select the best available technology to work remotely from more locations and all over the world.

“Our research has shown that the trend for flexible and mobile working is going to increase. At the moment 47 per cent of companies allow this kind of working practice and of those that don’t, a further 24 per cent plan to support it in the future.”

Access to the WiFi network is easy and simple. Orange users send a blank text message to the 9434 short-code and then receive a reply with their username and password. The username and password are entered on the login page at the hotspot allowing access to the Internet or company VPN. Payment is triggered by the text message and will appear on the customer’s monthly Orange bill. There is no requirement for users to have an Orange laptop data card.

Orange customers can locate the Orange partner WiFi hotspots through Orange online and offline directories and search by town, postcode or venue type. Orange WiFi Access will be available at £6 for an hour’s access, which can be spread across several connections in any 24 hour period.

Forthcoming announcements in 2006 will demonstrate how future phases of Business Everywhere will offer access to further network bearers.

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