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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 June, 2003, 13:55 GMT 14:55 UK
Coffee 'wi-fi' break for shoppers
Starbucks wi-fi
Coffee and the wireless web, please
High Street shoppers in Scotland are being offered wireless internet access in the latest technology drive.

Starbucks, the coffee chain, has set up wi-fi hotspots at seven of its branches, enabling customers with a wireless card in their laptop to surf the net without wires.

Other hotspots are available at Hilton hotels in Glasgow and Edinburgh provided by BT Openzone.

Analysts expect wi-fi services to take-off, with sales of the wireless cards needed to hook up to the network growing worldwide from 6.5m in 2001 to 31.2m by 2006.

'High-speed access'

Starbucks has teamed up with T-Mobile to offer 50 times faster internet access than standard dial-up access.

Three stores in Glasgow, three in Edinburgh and one in Aberdeen have hotspots to enable customers to have a coffee and use their laptops.

Users need a wi-fi or 802.11b wireless capability for their laptop computer.

Some laptops are wi-fi enabled but also require a wi-fi wireless card which costs about 50.

Four pre-pay tariffs are available to customers, from an hourly to a monthly pass.

The stores offering wi-fi capability are:

  • Aberdeen Union Street

  • Edinburgh Exchange Crescent, Forrest Road and Princes Street

  • Glasgow Princes Square, Bothwell Street and Charing Cross.

Cathy Heseltine, Starbucks marketing director, said she was confident the hot-spots would prove popular with customers.

She said: "We are delighted to offer our customers in Scotland another great enhancement to their Starbuck's experience."

Businessmen using wi-fi
Analysts believe wi-fi demand will rocket

Starbucks said during pilot schemes in Birmingham and London it did not find customers had spilled coffee on laptops.

Graham Rivers, T-Mobile UK director, said the launch was designed to offer internet users a faster and more efficient service.

Customers could quickly check e-mails or browse the internet without having to dash back to the office, he added.

The two Hilton hotels in Glasgow and two in Edinburgh offer wi-fi capability, as does Glasgow Moat House.

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27 Feb 03  |  Technology
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Wireless broadband spreads its wings
30 Jan 03  |  Technology
Green light for wireless hotspots
21 Jan 03  |  Technology

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