A t-zone isn't that sort of Zone; no WiFi

by Guy Kewney | posted on 05 August 2003

T-Mobile is a pioneer of WiFi hotspots, especially in America; and the WiFi Alliance has a "Zones" trademark for them. So when T-Mobile launched T-Zones in the Netherlands, we presumed ...

Guy Kewney

... wrongly. Apparently, the t-zones is simply a rival to mobile phone services like Vodafone Live! and i-mode - it's GPRS based. The company is pushing ahead fast with deployment of high-speed Internet hotspots throughout Europe - but this isn't part of that push.

According to Telecom Paper, which has produced a 39 Euro report into the service, it scores over those two rivals by being handset agnostic.

In its report, the research company summarizes: "The concept of t-zones looks handset independent and will attract a lot of users who will try t-zones. With Live! or i-mode this is not so easy to do, as customers need special handsets."

Telecom Paper predicts that T-Mobile will hit its target numbers - over 300,000 subscribers by end 2003, but notes that at least part of this will be due to price reduction in GPRS tariffs compared to Vodafone or KPN i-mode. Which, some will point out, is not before time - but it accelerates a trend to reduce data prices in Europe. A lot of forecasts will have to be revised.

You can discuss this article on our discussion board.