BSkyB has confirmed plans to acquire UK Wi-Fi network provider The Cloud.
The deal allows the broadcaster access to 5,000 public wireless hotspots, which it can offer to customers as part of its telecoms packages. BSkyB offers broadband and voice services, often bundled with its satellite TV and mobile content offerings.
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In its financial results for the last six months of 2010, the company said it took on 204,000 net additional broadband customers, the highest rise in the past 10 quarters. Sky's broadband service is now used by 2.2 million customers. The number of additional households taking a combination of Sky's broadband, telephony and line rental services was 660,000, up 61% year on year.
"The acquisition gives us ownership of over 5,000 public Wi-Fi locations across the UK, ensuring that customers can access our online service at a network of convenient locations," said BSkyB in its results statement.
"In addition, the initiative will complement our existing broadband services by offering customers a comprehensive option for Wi-Fi connectivity while they are on the move."
Anticipation of BSkyB's move into Wi-Fi has already led to changes in the mobile sector, as O2 announced plans this week to build its own wireless hotspot network.