Monday, 04 July 2016 16:48

Norwood secures world Wi-Fi hotspots deal with Devicescape

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Australian telecommunications services provider Norwood Systems has sealed an agreement with US-based  Devicescape which will allow users of its services to view available Wi-Fi hotspots through an augmented reality interface and make Wi-Fi connected calls using Devicescape’s Wi-Fi hotspots.

Devicescape has 20 million Wi-Fi hotspots around the world, with Norwood’s World Wi-Fi, an aggregator of Wi-Fi, allowing users to locate the hotspots through an app.

Norwood Systems’ chief executive and founder, Paul Ostergaard, says the agreement with Devicescape fills out a substantial portion of the initially planned federated Wi-Fi network, bringing more than 20 million locations to the expected network of over 40 million-plus hotspots.

“World Wi-Fi is a welcome addition to our portfolio of world apps, designed to bring the benefits of our federated network to consumers through a sharing economy approach. Its goal is to revolutionise the provision of Wi-Fi for travelling users, delivering innovative solutions to the key issues of discovery, security and access.

“Partnering with Devicescape gives us an unbeatable blend of reach and cost-efficiency, along with the reassurance that the network will continue to grow — and our customer experience continue to improve — the more our customers travel.”

Ostergaard says the network will be one of the largest Wi-Fi networks available to retail users, and “far in excess” of other local offerings such as Telstra Air.

He said Norwood anticipates offering the service at an “aggressive per-GB rate”, with retail pricing to be announced at launch.

Devicescape chief executive, Dave Fraser says the connectivity provided to end users, and the way it’s provided, are “ripe for improvement”.

“So we’re delighted to partner with Norwood on such a disruptive proposition, and excited about the growth it will bring to our network. Much of the initiative in this increasingly competitive arena is being taken by non-traditional operators, heaping pressure on incumbent operators to respond.”

The agreement marks Devicescape’s first public announcement of an “Over the Top” (OTT) customer, a market expansion which Norwood says complements Devicescape’s existing mobile operator customer base – and reflects “both the  unique versatility of the CVN as a strategic connectivity asset, and the increasing momentum and popularity enjoyed by non-traditional voice and messaging Apps, such as Norwood’s world apps”.

Crowd-sourced by Devicescape-enabled smartphones, the curated virtual network (CVN) drives rapid coverage and capacity growth mapped to the movement of end users, and Norwood says its customers with world Wi-Fi on both Android and iOS will benefit from automated access to the CVN’s 20 million access points across the world.

“Sitting alongside Norwood’s already launched world phone and Corona platforms, World Wi-Fi is a powerful demonstration of Norwood’s innovative approach to addressing global customer communications needs,” Ostergaard says.

“In the case of world Wi-Fi, we have developed an incredibly useful tool for end users to get cost-effective access to the Internet on a worldwide basis. I can’t wait to see how our customers respond to the value and functionality delivered by world Wi-Fi.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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