Making it easier to stay connected, Toshiba's Computer Systems Group (CSG) today announced the launch of its "hotspot" wireless service offering. Designed for coffee shops, hotels, convenience stores and other popular public locations, Toshiba's hotspot solution brings the convenience of wireless Internet access to people on the move. Toshiba is rapidly deploying hundreds of locations across North America in the coming months and plans to have up to ten thousand by end of 2003.
To help bring this wireless service offering to market, Toshiba selected Accenture (NYSE: ACN), the world's leading management consulting and technology services company, to deliver the business and operational support functions including network operations, billing and settlements processing and help desk support for end users.
"Toshiba aims to be the dominant supplier of 802.11b hotspot infrastructure and expects a considerable portion of the established public Wi-Fi market to be driven by hotspot operators and location owners capitalizing on the hotspot trend," said Oscar Koenders, vice president of product marketing and worldwide product planning, Toshiba CSG. "It's really a win-win solution all around and location owners and hotspot operators alike, will not find a more price competitive solution."
Toshiba's unrivaled Wi-Fi hotspot solution provides a low cost of entry for location owners and low maintenance cost with remote management from Toshiba. The business model is simple. Toshiba offers the hardware, a recurring revenue model and network infrastructure and management with support from Accenture.
"To help Toshiba quickly build out a scalable core platform as it grows its Wi-Fi hotspot business, Accenture created a solution to manage the total cost of services more effectively, while improving quality, service and process efficiencies," said John Romanow, a partner in Accenture's Communications & High Tech operating group. "Our work with Toshiba is another example of our commitment to drive emerging new business models that result from disruptive technology."
Toshiba's Wireless Broadband Hotspot solution allows end users with Wi-Fi enabled notebooks or PDAs to connect with the access point, or hotspot, to launch an Internet browser and access e-mail, surf the WEB, watch streaming video or download multi-media presentations. Using Wi-Fi technology, Toshiba's hotspot service makes it convenient for people who are traveling to connect to any Toshiba hotspot location, reducing the complexity of data connection around the ability to gain remote access.
"Wireless connectivity in public venues enables new ways to conduct business and is a convenient and easy way of obtaining information quickly with high-speed Web-surfing," said Koenders. "We're committed to proliferating the number of access points across the country with easy-to-use technology and services through Toshiba's mobile computing leadership and Accenture's technology services."
End users may access a Toshiba hotspot with a pre-paid coupon or by credit card for a 24-hour connection at a single hotspot. In Q2 2003, Toshiba plans for users to be able to access a Toshiba hotspot via their wireless Internet service provider.