RIGA - Electronic communications operator Lattelecom has started to offer free Internet access to any person in 2,000 locations all over Latvia, Lattelecom board member and Commercial Director Kerli Gabrilovica said, reports Nozare.lv. The best places for Lattelecom free Wi-Fi hotspots were determined by popular vote - each such place had at least 100 local residents’ votes. More than 260,000 residents participated in the voting overall, which is 25 times more than Lattelecom originally anticipated, the company said in a statement.
“We were planning on 100-200 Wi-Fi hotspots, but that would be insufficient for demand. But the avalanche-like activity pushes us to be flexible, hence Lattelecom has decided to set up more hotspots than originally planned. Starting from [the beginning of this month], there are free Wi-Fi hotspots in 2,000 places across Latvia. And it seems that the area covered by free Wi-Fi will grow only larger,’ commented Lattelecom CEO Juris Gulbis.
A list of free Wi-Fi hotspots is available at the www.Wi-Fi.lv and www.1188.lv Web sites. The Internet speeds are sufficient for downloading images, photographs, films and other files, without any limitations.
Lattelecom’s 2,000 Wi-Fi hotspots offer free Internet for two thirty-minute periods preceded by fifteen-second commercials, said Gabrilovica. Subscribers to Lattelecom home services, who could use Lattelecom Wi-Fi for free at about 3,500 hotspots, will be able to use the new hotspots without having to watch the commercials.
According to Gabrilovica, initially the commercials will be Lattelecom’s own advertisements, but later, other companies’ commercials will be aired, with the idea being that earnings from such commercials will partly finance the free Wi-Fi service.