SBC Communications to roll out 6,000 hot spots using Wayport (free reg. req.): SBC plans to 6,000 hot spots at business venues mostly in territory it provides phone service to, including California and Texas. The story notes that SBC will resell Wayport's network; Wayport also told me today that they will building out service on SBC's behalf and providing the back-office services.
SBC defined the rollout slightly differently than other hot spot operators, saying there would be 20,000 access points at 6,000 locations. Since hotels might require dozens of access points, I'm not sure if they mean areas of access (such as several spots at a mall, or hotel rooms and public areas as two separate areas) rather than actual hardware devices. SBC hasn't announced pricing.
Interestingly, SBC owns the majority chunk of Cingular, which is one of only two cell companies who haven't announced Wi-Fi plans; Nextel is the other. An alert reader noted that the press release from SBC contains more information about the Cingular/SBC arrangements than the stories covering this matter:
SBC Communications will use its relationship with Cingular to bring to market a service that combines the strengths and benefits of Wi-Fi hot spots and 3G wireless data services. The service will allow subscribers to move between their home or office SBC broadband service, SBC FreedomLink Wi-Fi hot spots and Cingular's network, while experiencing not only speed and mobility, but service consistency and simplicity as well.
Cingular is already deploying EDGE, which is pseudo-3G (Cingular says 170 Kbps max). The integrated service is expected to be available in late 2004 or early 2005. There's your roadmap.