British Telecom is reportedly planning to develop a global WiFi network that will allow customers to make VoIP calls around the world. BT is understood to be in talks with rival operators and WiFi service providers overseas to set up roaming agreements. Aside from its own network of WiFi hotspots operated under the Openzone brand, BT has a number of partnerships with other operators and service providers such as The Cloud, Boingo and Portugal Telecom to offer WiFi access outside of its markets. Last week at the 3GSM World Congress, BT introduced a new Motorola handset, the A910, capable of switching seamlessly between WiFi and cellular services using Unlicensed Mobile Access.
The new AT&T, the combination of AT&T and SBC, announced it has significantly bolstered its WiFi footprint globally as well. Through an agreement with WeRoam, 5,500 additional WiFi locations across Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific are available to AT&T Remote Access customers. This agreement broadens the WiFi footprint to a total of more than 24,000 locations in 52 countries for these customers. It will be interesting to see how Cingular might play in a wireless VoIP strategy for AT&T, which jointly owns the company with BellSouth.