T-Mobile has today become the first UK operator to offer access to a Wi-Fi network as part of a mobile broadband price plan.
As of today, the operator has announced that all new customers that sign up to the Web'n'walk mobile internet service will now be able to use all T-Mobile Wi-Fi HotSpots to go online at no extra charge.
This means that for an additional £12.50 per month, on top of any Flext price plan, T-Mobile customers will now have access to both a 3G network nationwide, and what T-Mobile claims is the world's largest Wi-Fi network.
This offers more than 39,000 Wi-Fi HotSpots across the globe (and 1200 HotSpots in the UK) including the Starbucks chain of coffee shops, airports and some rail services.
Broadband speeds of up to 8MB/s are offered.
Without T-Mobile's Web'n'walk price plan, access to Wi-Fi costs from £5 for 60 minutes (one off or occasional access), or from £10 per month for a subscription.
Richard Warmsley, T-Mobile's Head of Internet on the Move, said: "We're the only network to include unlimited use of our own HotSpots. We recognise that it's a quick reliable connection that matters most, not the technology you use to get online. We also know that customers don't get bits and bytes so we focus on simple fixed price plans that never have any extra charges, no matter how much surfing you need. Now with our recent 3 network collaboration and the addition of HotSpots in our plans you can be sure that T-Mobile offers the best Mobile Broadband service in the UK".
T-Mobile and 3 will now integrate their 3G radio access
networks, creating what they claim will be Europe's most extensive HSDPA network.
This will lead to almost complete population coverage for 3G services across Britain by the end of 2008 "with significant fill in and improvement to dense urban in-building coverage in 2009".
It is hoped that the network collaboration will accelerate the take up of high-speed mobile broadband services.