Hot-Spot Market Gets New Player

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Frank Hayes, CEO of Manchester, N.H.-based Single Digits, said the company will provide wireless hot-spot solutions aimed specifically at businesses, compared with hot-spot services aimed at individual users from vendors such as T-Mobile and Boingo Wireless.

"If a business has a wireless router, then they can tap into the IT transport and Wi-Fi so it lends itself to a totally different business model that targets individual businesses, and not the end users," Hayes said. "It appears to be a fruitless endeavor to expect an end user to pay $29 a month."

The company's new model is designed to allow vertically focused companies to easily adopt Single Digits' point-and-click hot-spot solution, which automates back-office billing and connectivity. The solution also augments management software with global hosting and 24x7 support from network operating centers to allow companies to become their own service providers, enabling them to market and set the fees for the service on their own.

Single Digits is now focusing on recruiting more solution providers, and has established a new sales force to work with partners. The company also has set up training programs and discounts to help partners get started, Hayes said.

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George Reichenberg, manager of business development at DataBit, a Mahwah, N.J.-based solution provider that has worked with Single Digits for about a year, said the company's products allow resellers to target a niche of customers and make decent margins on the installation. The solution can accommodate additional technology, most notably voice over Wi-Fi, he said.

"[Single Digits'] hot-spot model is an easy-to-understand scenario for us to discuss with potential non-technical customers. From truck stops to pizza shops and coffee shops to hotels, we are realizing 30 [percent] to 40 percent margins, and predict a $1 million pipeline," Reichenberg said.