Toshiba on Tuesday unveiled a low-cost Wi-Fi wireless access package called Hot Spot In A Box and plans to distribute it through regional and national systems integrators.
Integrators will be responsible for selling, installing and maintaining the hot spot solution. Accenture will provide users with business and operational support, including network, billing, settlement and help-desk services.
Earmarked for solution providers, the Hot Spot In A Boxis priced at $199. "The product is in the channel at the moment, waiting to be deployed," John Marston, Toshiba's vice president of business development, said here at the CTIA expo.
Toshiba and Accenture wanted to develop an inexpensive wireless solution because hot spots typically are costly to set up but yield little return on that investment, Marston said. "We've designed low-cost customer premises equipment, with an installation that is so easy my mother could do it," he said.
The hot spot solution is designed for coffee shops, hotels, convenience stores and other locations. Toshiba is deploying hundreds of hot spot locations across North America and plans to have up to 10,000 by the end of this year, according to Marston.
Currently, there are about 3,500 hot spots in the United States, he said. While existing hot spots have been deployed by various providers, Marston said the number of Toshiba hot spots in the queue for shipment already surpasses that number.