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    Operators compete on WLAN

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    Vodafone UK has done a deal with BT to give its subscribers access to over 1200 BTOpenzone public WLAN hotspots — giving it a competitive play to T-Mobile’s “combined” WLAN/3G/GPRS service.

    Vodafone has added WLAN capability to its  “‘dashboard” — the interface that manages wireless access. The deal means customers can now connect via their 3G/GPRS data card or a Wireless LAN (WLAN) hotspot.
    Customers will also receive a breakdown of 3G/GPRS and WLAN activity on a single statement, meaning Vodafone is mirroring T-Mobile’s single billing, although of course the principle difference is that T-Mobile is offering access through its won hotspot.
    The new Vodafone WLAN service will be available to all Vodafone Mobile Connect data card customers, including GPRS-only cardholders, so long as they have a Wireless LAN capability.  The service is not subject to a monthly fee — customers simply select a time-based session to activate it. 
    Bill Morrow, ceo, said, “By adding WLAN capability to our already successful 3G data card we are responding to our customers needs —mobile access to business applications at competitive rates, in more places and on one bill.” 

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