photo: Spanish Institute of Technology
photo: Spanish Institute of Technology

The telecommunications company Euskaltel has launched the largest Wi-Fi network it operates at the moment in Euskadi. There are no less than 128,000 access points distributed along the streets of the entire geography of the Basque Autonomous Community. Euskaltel calls an electronic device that emits a WiFi network that allows a smartphone or tablet to connect to the Internet for free.

In Euskaltel WiFi there are two types of access points, “HotSpots”, which Euskaltel installs exclusively for this service and access points based on some of the latest generation Euskaltel cable modems with which Euskaltel provides its access service. Internet to your customers.

All the company’s Internet and mobile phone customers will be able to access it automatically and free of charge. In total, more than 400,000 Euskaltel mobile users will have free Internet access through the largest WiFi network in the Basque Country thanks to the deployment of Euskaltel WiFi, a project with which the operator wants to universalize the connection to the high speed, regardless of the place from which it is accessed.

According to company sources, the use of the equipment present in the homes of its customers does not subtract bandwidth or slow down the service provided. Euskaltel WiFi works completely independently of the internet service. Euskaltel assigns extra bandwidth to the cable modems dedicated exclusively to the Euskaltel WiFi network, in such a way that the speed of the Internet service is not affected.

To understand how Euskaltel WiFi works, the company expresses it as follows: “imagine that your internet connection is a pipe through which water flows. Euskaltel WiFi has a totally different pipe, which neither affects nor consumes the water that flows through your pipe”.

This new initiative to make the Basque Country connected through its 128,000 nodes is undoubtedly great news. It is not a unique project in the internet ecosystem. In fact, it is very similar to the one developed for a long time by the company FON that allows to its users the free connection to the access points of other users, distributed throughout the world, while providing paid access to third parties through a system in which the profits are shared between the company and the user who provides their Connection. According to sources from the company itself, there are more than 14 million access points based on the voluntary adhesion of operator customers who, unlike the Euskaltyel project, in this case do share part of their bandwidth between the FON customers.

A project that could have a great social significance and also an important business impact because it makes it possible, in practice, to universalize Internet access. For now, this great wireless shield is only open to company customers, but the possibilities of making agreements with the different administrations, companies, development agencies or municipalities of the Basque Country are just around the corner. And with them universal access to the internet.

Euskaltel emerged as a business project promoted by the Basque government, which for many years was its main shareholder. The idea behind its creation was to have an operator in the Basque Country that would guarantee competitive telecommunications services to the Basque public and business sector. Then came the extension (almost universalization) of fiber optics to a large part of homes and industrial estates in the Basque Autonomous Community (its market area). With all of this, Euskaltel managed to compete on an equal footing with the large Spanish and European operators who saw in Euskaltel the biblical David who fought with a multitude of goliaths and managed to get out of almost all of them. There were a few years of certain uncertainties about the future of the company and the revolving doors also somewhat tarnished its reputation as a private company (without going much further, the lehendakari Ardanza was president of the company for a long time after abandon Ajuria Enea). The brutal irruption of the mobile in all spheres of social, family and business life was surely the greatest challenge for this small operator which, in view of its results, seems to have consolidated its position.

Today the company is the leading Broadband operator in the Basque Country, and has market shares of 45% in fixed telephony, 44% in Broadband Internet, 30% in telephony mobile, 30% of Digital Television, and 25% of the total income of the telecommunications sector in the Basque Country.

Zorionak ekimen garrantzitsu honengatik!

. It seems that the initiative has also aroused suspicion among some Euskaltel customers who have found themselves totally uninformed about the use that is going to be made of the access points present in their homes. The company must strengthen its communication policy. Customers are, as they always emphasize, part of their business project. Here perhaps they have forgotten a little about them, surely prisoners of emotion.