The objective of this chapter is to highlight critical elements affecting the diffusion of broadband wireless Internet at a hotspot location, through a case study. The research deals with a wireless Internet services project in the main Paris airports, and comprises two components. First, we analyze the emergence of a value chain for a new service, based on the cooperation of several firms. In particular, we show how different actors can or cannot position themselves on this value chain, according to their resources and capabilities. Second, we explore the perceptions and attitudes of business passengers in order to better understand the potential adoption and use of hotspot services, and provide a preliminary framework of analysis. The research is drawn from a qualitative survey, made up of in-depth interviews of potential suppliers (airline companies, service providers, airport managers) and business passengers.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Roaming: A subscriber of one service provider can use the network of another service provider in another location, thanks to an agreement between service providers, called a roaming agreement. In this case the customer is still billed by his regular service provider
Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX): Corresponds to IEEE 802.16 technology. With a range of up to 30 miles, it provides a viable alternative to ADSL for subscriber connection, in particular in low population density areas such as the countryside
Wireless Fidelity (WiFi): A trade name promulgated by the WiFi Alliance, formerly called WECA (Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance). It corresponds to the 802.11b standard, defined by the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). It allows a theoretical flow of 11 Mb/s in the frequency band of the 2.4 GHz, on a distance of up to several hundred meters
Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP): An Internet service provider using radio wave systems to provide services.
Wireless LAN (WLAN): A short-range, broadband data communication system using radio waves, serving as a LAN
Hotspot: A geographic area that is covered by a wireless network. Inside this area, Internet access is made available to any device equipped with a wireless card
Local Area Network (LAN): A network covering a limited geographic distance, such as an office, building, or a group of buildings in close proximity to each other