Liberty Global-owned Belgian cable operator Telenet has introduced a single login system for its Flanders-wide WiFi ‘homespot’ and hotspot network and has introduced a wide-area ‘Wi-Free’ zone in Mechelen, the city in which it is based.
Telenet has implemented the Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP), an authentication framework for wireless networks that Telenet says will mean its customers only need to log in once with a mobile devices to connect to all available Telenet homespots and hotspots. Homespots are created by partitioning individual subscribers’ wireless modems to enable part of their wireless cloud to be used for public access.
Telenet has made EAP authentication available across its 2,000 hotspots except for railway stations. The service is not yet available across the operator’s one million-plus homespots, with the exception of Mechelen. According to the operator, EAP will be rolled out to its remaining homespots by early 2015.
Separately, Telenet has teamed up with the Mechelen city authorities to deliver full WiFi coverage across the city centre by next spring.
Both developments are part of Telenet’s five-year €500 million investment in developing its network.
“Mobile Internet is becoming increasingly important. The past five years, data usage on our hotspots has increased 800 percent. It is thus necessary to invest heavily in our Wi-Fi network and to optimise the user-friendliness for all our customers,” said John Porter, CEO of Telenet.
“In places where customers spend longer periods of time, such as restaurants, pubs, but also large shopping streets or tourist squares, they usually look for a high-performance Wi-Fi network. That is where we want to be with our Wi-Free. By simplifying the login procedure and expanding the coverage, we want customers to ‘take their Internet with them’, as it were, regardless of where they are and enjoy the best Internet experience both at home and on the move. We will provide free Wi-Fi everywhere in Flanders for our customers.”
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