Every user can go online free of charge for 30 minutes a day. Kabel deutschland customers currently surf for free without limits. The pilot project is initially scheduled to run for two years and is to be extended to potsdam as well.
At the launch, 44 WLAN hotspots for wireless network access were activated in berlin-mitte and the district of prenzlauer berg, said kabel-deutschland boss adrian von hammerstein in berlin. 100 radio stations to be in place by june 2013.
The WLAN network currently covers busy locations such as hackescher markt, unter den linden, gendarmenmarkt, and kollwitzplatz. The other 60 hotspots are planned in berlin-mitte, tiergarten and charlottenburg as well as in the city center of potsdam.
When the 30 minutes are over, it is currently closed for the rest of the day. Von hammerstein said that business models for paid use beyond that will only be considered in the coming months. At the same time, the 30 minutes will be charged per device – so if you have more than one smartphone or other mobile device with you, you can extend your usage time.
The head of kabel-deutschland said he expects WLAN operations to continue even after the pilot project ends with initial free access. His company is open for cooperation with other providers. Operators of cafes and restaurants could also have hotspots installed if they were interested.
A budget of two million euros has been budgeted for the pilot project, 316,000 euros of which will come as a demand from the berlin-brandenburg media agency.
Kabel deutschland continues to work with the project to expand its business beyond the core area of TV connections. The company already offers telephone services and high-speed internet access. A wide WLAN network was able to round off the offer. In berlin, kabel deutschland has a total of 1.1 million customers and 190,000 of them also receive telecommunications services.
One advantage of WLAN over mobile data services, such as UMTS, is the higher speed, especially when the radio cells are busy. In addition, the data quota for fast mobile internet can be exhausted quickly, especially with favorable rates. So far, free networks in berlin are mainly offered in the hospitality industry.