Monday, January 21, 2008

Free WiFi access in Manila, Philippines?

In the Philippines, government support for more equitable access to information and communication technologies (ICT) is woefully inadequate. Unlike in the United States and Europe, it is difficult to access public funds or motivated support from the government. Hence, the private sector in the Philippines has developed the entrepreneurial agility and creativeness to address significant barriers to the ICT market. One example is the recent launch of free WiFi in select areas in Makati City, the country’s premier financial and commercial district.

Tech Bloggers and the Inquirer reported that WiGo ( the start-up company that is bold enough to offer free WiFi, is betting on a business model of targeted advertising. They feel that laptop owners/users will not mind the advertising pop-ups and are the target market for its advertisers. If successful, what will be the impact on fee-for-use WiFi providers such as Airbone Access ( ?

So far the list of places with WiGo hotspots are:

· Bel-Air Village, Brgy. Park, Makati City

· LKG Tower Food Odyssey, Makati

· National Library, Manila

· PBCOM Tower - Food Patio, Makati

· Power Plant Mall, Makati
- Block 9
- P1 - Concourse Level
- R2 - Level 2
- R3 - Level 3

· Shakey's Rada - Jaycem Bldg, Makati

WiGo is also accepting hotspot applications.

Technological innovation in combination with creative business solutions have a way of disrupting current business models. It will be interesting to see how WiGo will perform over time.

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