Without any formal announcement, Telenet customers can now access the free Wi-Fi hotspots in a number of European countries offered by other Liberty Global networks. These include Ziggo in The Netherlands, Horizon Wi-free on Virgin in Ireland, Unitymedia WiFispot in Germany and on the UPC networks in Switzerland, Austria, Czech, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. Virgin Media in the UK is not (yet) on the list, as its hotspots network is still under development.
According to a report by the Dutch news website Tweakers, the service can only be used by Telenet customers who have a Telenet SIM card and are using the Telenet Wi-Fi app.
In April 2013, Dutch cable operator Ziggo (before the acquisition by Liberty Global) was the first in the world to introduce a system of free Wi-Fi hot spots, which offers its broadband customers free Wi-Fi with millions hotspots. In September 2013, UPC Netherlands followed in the footsteps of Ziggo by rolling out a similar service.
Just before the launch, during the CTAM EuroSummit 2013, UPC’s Peter Dorr suggested that two operators might join forces. “Why not connect the two networks?” he said at the time, “and all of a sudden we have a free Wi-Fi network for all cable customers. Unlimited wireless internet at many locations with a one-off authentication. And at the next level we can do it for other countries.”
Meanwhile, after the Ziggo and UPC networks merged, an almost nationwide hotspot network materialised in the Netherlands. This was followed in August 2015 by the news that Ziggo and Delta were connecting their services.
In September 2014, Comcast Cable and Liberty Global signed an agreement to allow users to access each other’s Wi-Fi networks, but so far this hasn’t materialised.
(Mobile screenshot picture courtesy of Tweakers)