BT BUYS 'DRAGONS DEN' SQUARE MILE MARINA WI-FI NETWORK
Acquisition sees BT provide BT Openzone access to 39 marinas in the UK and Jersey
BT today announced that it has acquired marina Wi-Fi network operator, Square Mile Marina, to deliver high speed wireless internet (Wi-Fi) access to 39 coastal and inland marinas in the UK and Jersey. Square Mile Marina, established in 2007, was previously owned by the successful Dragon’s Den entrepreneur Dominic Killinger.
BT will switch the existing Wi-Fi service to its BT Openzone service by the start of the sailing season in March. The BT Openzone service will provide an estimated 3,000 permanent berth holders and visiting yachtsmen, using 10,000 marina berths, with easy to use Wi-Fi connectivity. As part of the agreement, Openzone has been installed at five new Tingdene marinas in the past month.
When the marinas are switched to the service, a wide range of BT Openzone voucher and subscription payment options will be made available to subscribers offering them greater flexibility and cost control. The ever popular yachting website MyMarina.co.uk will continue to be available from the BT Openzone marina landing page.
Chris Bruce, general manager, BT Openzone said: "BT has a strong affiliation with the sailing community through our support of Dame Ellen McArthur and the BT Global Challenge. As an extension of this commitment, BT is very excited about the opportunity to offer Wi-Fi services to the sailing community and we will be looking to expand this network in 2008."
Welcoming the BT Openzone acquisition, Dominic Killinger said: "Square Mile Marina has developed into a strong and successful Wi-Fi business. BT, with its Openzone resources and Wi-Fi operational experience, is the right choice to take the network forward."
The BT Openzone network will allow marina users to stay connected to email, the web, their company network, alongside gaming and VOIP applications from a growing number of Wi-Fi enabled devices. In addition to the Square Mile Marina estate, customers can access Wi-Fi at over 2,000 BT Openzone hotspots in premium locations including hotels, airports, coffee shops and an increasing number of leisure and holiday sites. The estate also includes 35,000 global sites through roaming agreements with other global network operators. For more BT Openzone information, visit www.btopenzone.com
Commenting on the new marina Wi-Fi service from BT Openzone, Charles Bush, managing director, Mayflower Marina, Plymouth said: "We see the introduction of BT Openzone, with its expertise in wireless broadband, as a positive move for our marina business. The high quality service and support offered by BT will be a huge benefit to our berth holders and visiting yachtsmen."
Existing Square Mile customers can use their current accounts until the network is upgraded to BT Openzone and, at that stage, customers will be invited to transfer across to BT Openzone pricing plans.
BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications solutions and services operating in 170 countries. Its principal activities include networked IT services; local, national and international telecommunications services; higher-value broadband and internet products and services and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, Openreach, BT Retail and BT Wholesale.
In the year ended March 31, 2007, BT Group plc's revenue was £20,223 million with profit before taxation of £2,484 million.
British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.
For more information, visit www.bt.com/aboutbt
1 The new Tingdene marinas are Walton Marina (Walton on Thames), Brundall (Brundall Bay, Norfolk), Pyrford Marina (Surrey), Thames & Kennett Marina (Reading) and Upton Marina (Worcestershire).