O2 ends Partnership with BT Openzone Wi-Fi Hotspots
O2 and BT’s partnership for free public Wi-Fi has come to an end, resulting in O2 customers no longer having access to BT’s network of Wi-Fi hotspots in the UK.
The two companies’ long-standing partnership meant that O2 customers could access BT Openzone Wi-Fi hotspots, but the end of the partnership means that the number of public hotspots available to O2 mobile users will drop by 4,200.
O2 customers will lose access to the 4,200 hotspots from BT at the end of June and instead will be only able to access O2’s 8,000 Wi-Fi hotspots that are dotted across the UK. The deal with BT has been a long-standing one but going forward there will be a charge for O2 users who wish to use a BT hotspot.
O2 has created a page on its website stating; “Goodbye BT Openzone. Hello O2 Wi-Fi.” Where it explains the changes and how it will be switching its BT sources off and urging customers to use the O2 friendly hotspots.
“From 1 July 2013, as an O2 customer you’ll need to use O2 Wifi hotspots to get online instead of hooking up to BT Openzone. There are over 8,000 free Wifi hotspots to choose from. With more popping up all the time.”
O2’s hotspot offerings, whilst not as openly available as BT, are very accessible thanks to the likes of McDonald’s, Debenhams, Costa Coffee, All-Bar-One, House of Fraser, Café Rouge, Toni & Guy and O2 Stores all offering Wi-Fi access via their stores.
To many the change won’t make much of a difference as it’s primarily a service that is available in big cities across the UK, but for people who are in more rural areas with less chain stores dotted about it may become harder to find a free Wi-Fi hotspot.