T-Mobile and Vodafone move ahead on public WLAN

German wireless operator T-Mobile has rolled out a commercial high-speed wireless Internet service at several sites in Germany...

German wireless operator T-Mobile has rolled out a commercial high-speed wireless Internet service at several sites in Germany with numerous hotspots to follow in the coming months.

Germany was late to join the wireless LAN (WLAN) development movement, but is expected to become Europe's largest market for wireless Internet services. T-Online is gunning to be one of the major players.

T-Mobile offers a WLAN service at the Münster-Osnabrück airport and several Ramada hotels, using expertise acquired in the US.

The wireless company operates an extensive network of more than 1,800 hotspots, many of them in Starbucks coffee shops, scattered across the country.

Last month T-Mobile signed a deal to supply hotspot coverage to the country's three largest airlines, AMR's American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Air Lines, beginning next year.

The T-Mobile commercial service launch in Germany comes a week after Vodafone announced plans to install WLAN hotspots in 55 Lufthansa airport lounges in the country and abroad. The hotspot service will be integrated into Lufthansa's on-flight Internet offering, to be launched on the Frankfurt-Washington route on 15 January.

Vodafone aimed to provide seamless WLAN service to Lufthansa travellers when they are waiting for their flights and when they are on board.

T-Mobile said its WLAN service will cost €7.95 (£5.06) for one hour, €15.95 (£10.17) for three hours and €24.95 (£15.91) for 24 hours.

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