Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Pump my Pipe...It's Convenient

Once more I find convergence, and I don't mean FMC or any of those other Telco terms, I have found Idea Convergence.

Some time ago Paul Jardine talked about "the Other network" an idea he had many years ago, now we have NZ Telecom doing just that. On this blog I have extended the ideas of the Wifi Lightpost and fixed wireless access and Paul raised the idea of TescoMax.

Right now WiFi access in Bangkok is far from prolific but with the license given to TTT Broadband they could use some of these ideas to broaden the access to their network. Throughout this sprawling city you can rely on finding one of two things:

  1. A petrol station - PTT, Caltex, Shell, Green Leaf etc
  2. 7-Eleven - the ubiquitous convenience store
And in many locations you can find both i.e. a 7-Eleven at a petrol station.

Tie in to these two infrastructure nodes and you have a pretty good grid for your network nodes. Both places by default are in built up urban areas with homes greedy for internet access.

PTT and DTAC have a partnership that gives them an EDGE Modem on the DTAC network that makes it cheap for electronic payment methods to be used opposed to the high prices charged by the domestic arm of the TOT/CAT duopoly. So PTT at least are used to business benefits of wireless access, it's time to create the same benefit for the customers.

I'm sure 7-Eleven face similar high charges for telephony so giving them free access in return for hosting your WiMax infrastructure would be welcomed. They are also a known brand that has is an efficient supply chain for your pre-paid cards (assuming that you are going to charge for access) and a payment mechanism as they offer the PayPoint service.

TT&T themselves have a lot of phone booths so could easily roll out WiFi on "their other network"

There is a glitch though. I also happen to think that 7-Eleven and ideally placed to be an MVNO for the same reasons, they are everywhere, people know who they are and a wireless extension of their PayPoint service would be a service I would sign up for. However there is no reason why the partnership could still be a productive one.

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