SkyNetGlobal deploys hotspots

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The Singapore subsidiary of listed Australian wireless provider SkyNetGlobal has unveiled plans to deploy Singapore's largest wireless hotspot network, following the announcement of a partnership with McDonald's.

SkyNetGlobal in Singapore has signed an exclusive agreement with McDonald's fastfood empire in that nation to build 140 wireless hotspots targeting diners at the restaurant.

However, SkyNetGlobal will also be rolling out up to 60 more hotspots using the network, outside the city in business and industrial parks.

The 200 wireless hotspots--creating Singapore's largest wireless hotspot network--will offer wireless, high-speed internet access, voice and video services from February next year.

“We are going to take everything we have learnt over the past three years operating Australia's largest WiFi network and do it 10 times better in Singapore,” said Jonathan Soon, CEO at SkyNetGlobal in Australia.

Soon said Singapore was an ideal choice due to its small size, high broadband penetration and high adoption of mobile computing devices.

“The existing competitive landscape in Singapore presents a window of opportunity for SkyNetGlobal to become number one, achieving at least a 50 percent share of the country's public wireless LAN market,” he said.

According to SkyNetGlobal, the new WiFi network will be PDA and smartphone capable and operate on an “open access” model with global roaming.

Any carrier or ISP in any country will be able to offer the hotspot service to its own customers under its own brand, SkyNetGlobal claimed.

SkyNetGlobal also plans to develop its own proprietary software targeting the “killer application” it believes is missing in today's wireless hotspot environments, the company said.

Consulting firm Frost & Sullivan has predicted rapid growth rates in subscriber base and revenues for the public wireless LAN market in Singapore, the company said, with 40 percent growth in revenue--from $US 5.3 million to $US 42.1 million--compounded annually expected to 2008. SkyNetGlobal is headquartered in Sydney and listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX).

The company provides Internet connectivity to more than 1,000 broadband and wireless hotspots globally.

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