During a meeting of the telecommunications commission of San Francisco, an SBC engineer revealed SBC's hotspot plans for the year: He said that SBC plans to offer its Freedomlink hotspots in 900 locations in California by the end of this year and already has 27 venues under contract (which usually means signed but not built in hotspot industry speak). Freedomlink is the product name for its hotspot network that SBC announced in the middle of 2003.
At the time, SBC said that Wayport would help it build hotspots in a whopping 6,000 locations within SBC's 13 state region by the end of 2006. The company also said it would begin by building more than 1,000 hotspots in several hundred locations by the end of 2003. SBC seems to have missed the mark by a wide margin as its Web site currently lists 30 hotspots, including a handful at Cingular stores and SBC offices.
It's becoming comical, really, watching companies like SBC make grandiose promises that don't even come close to fruition. As we reported earlier in the month, Sprint PCS has a similar track record. Sprint PCS said last year that it would build 1,300 hotspots and so far has two. Cometa pledged that it would start rolling out hotspots in 50 urban markets in 2003. So far it has hotspots in four states--a long way from its promised 20,000 hotspots by the end of 2007. [link via Matt. The SBC engineer's comments come just after 40 minutes into the program.]