Toshiba has launched a low-cost public wireless hotspot product which will allow resellers to pick up recurring revenues when customers use it to access the internet.
The company's wireless local area network product will cost around £399 for companies, such as cafes or restaurants, wanting to offer wireless access to customers.
Toshiba wants 200 to 500 hotspots in place by July, and 5,000 in the UK by 2004.
Customers will be able to buy vouchers for £5, which will give them access to the network for 24 hours.
Resellers can make money by installing the hardware, but will also take a share of the revenue each time a customer uses the network, explained Andy Bass, general manager of Toshiba's computer systems division.
Revenue will be split between the owner of the hotspot, Toshiba and the reseller, although Bass did not give details of the breakdown.
"We are bringing low-cost public Wi-Fi access to the marketplace," he told vnunet.com.
Resellers will conduct maintenance after selling and installing the hotspot, while Toshiba will support end users with integrated billing and help desk assistance.
Bass said Toshiba had already trained 12 resellers. He predicted that the product could appeal to up to 60 resellers, and added that the company was looking to accredit new partners with skills in the area. "We are going through a programme of re-accreditation," he said.
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