Yesterday, just a week after Wayport announced a retail partnering program that challenged T-Mobile USAs dominance among retail hot spots, T-Mobile countered with an aggressive move into Wayports bread-and-butter niche, the travel and hospitality sector.
T-Mobile lit up service at the Hyatt Charlotte in North Carolina on Thursday morning and announced that it will unwire Hyatt hotels in Columbus, Ohio; Chesapeake Bay, Md.; and the Grand Hyatt hotel in New York City within weeks. The company promises to deploy hot spots in most of Hyatts 200-plus hotels by 2005.
Wayport last week rolled out its Wi-Fi World, an ambitious program packaging a network of partnerships and managed services pegged to its efforts to unwire McDonalds restaurants.
But Wi-Fi World is more than just a deployment plan for McDonalds. Its Wayports ticket into hot-spot deployments in restaurants, truck stops, stores, shopping malls and other retail venues.
Now comes T-Mobile and its new partnership with Hyatt. This is shaping up as a battle of the titans. Given the speed at which both companies are expanding their footprints in the competitive hot-spot space, the two are looking more and more like the last left standing in what has become one of the industrys bloodier competitions.
Last month, Cometa Networks, a joint venture of AT&T, IBM and Intel, joined the league of high-profile providers that have shuttered their operations in the face of rising costs and diminishing revenue projections.
A recent report from the Wissenschaftliches Institut für Kommunikationsdienste (WIK, which translates to the Scientific Institute for Communication Services), a leading research firm that tracks the telecommunications industry in Germany, suggests that fallout in the provider space may be nearing an end.