Thursday, October 07, 2004

Lattelekom announces WiFi roaming

As reported in this blog on September 22, Latvia's fixed network operator Lattelekom has now officially announced that it is offering international WiFi roaming. The company, owned 49 % by Sweden's TeliaSonera (the rest by the Latvian state) has signed a deal with Deutsche Telecom affiliate T-Systems (as reported here) as well as with operators in Portugal and Finland. Sweden, Great Britain, neighboring Estonia and other countries will come on line later, but before year-end. Initially, some 500 foreign WiFi sites will become accessible (at rates charged by the foreign host). T-Systems roaming charges will be LVL 0.0667 per minute.
Details on how the roaming enabled card will work are still sketchy – it will cost at least LVL 2.95 per month to "subscribe", but with no indication of the denominations of any pre-paid packages.
As I wrote earlier, it remains to be seen whether this deal will be attractive or will Latvian "road warriors" set off looking for freebie hotspots available in many countries (as part of the service at hotels or coffee shops).

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