BT Wi-fi (with a lowercase ‘f’) is the new snappier and more self-explanatory name for BT Openzone.
The 4 million strong public Wi-fi network has been rebranded to meet the rise in demand for Wi-Fi from smartphone and tablet users.
BT estimates that 21,000 people log on to BT Wi-fi every minute during peak times with more than 1 billion ‘Wi-Fi minutes’ being used in the UK over the last 3 months on BT Wi-Fi connections.
BT Wi-fi CEO Andy Baker, said in a statement:
“As tablets and smartphones have become increasingly popular, connecting to the internet through wi-fi has become more relevant. We are proud to offer our customers free access to one of the biggest wi-fi networks in the world and wanted to make it easier for our customers to find a hotspot and get online, it made sense for us to bring our estate under one unified brand.”
Of a sample of 2,364 users using BT Wi-fi hotspots in April this year, 56 per cent of these were laptop users, 22 per cent were mobile phone users, 11 per cent were iPod Touch owners with the remaining 7 per cent connecting to BT Wi-fi on a “handheld gaming device.”
BT Wi-fi also sees former BT Fon hotspots getting rebranded under the new name. BT Fon hotspots actually piggyback off of residential BT Home Hub hotspots, allowing BT Broadband subscribers to freely share their Wi-Fi (if they wish).
BT Wi-fi is free for BT Broadband customers. Non BT customers will have to pay for access, but can still use BT Wi-fi.