Wi-Fi closure blamed on ADSL pricing

29 Sep 2005

Finland’s largest Wi-Fi network operator Wivanet, which has150 base stations and a presence in the city of Vantaa and across parts of northern Helsinki, is to shut down its operation by the first quarter of 2006, unless its owner can find a buyer for the business. Vantaa Energy has decided to stop maintaining the network as a result of a massive drop in broadband prices in recent years. According to Vantaa Energy’s MD Pertti Laukkanen, WLAN operations are unprofitable because the prices of broadband services have fallen by 50%, and added that the decision to close the mobile broadband operation was taken because it does not form part of the company’s core energy business. Wivanet started operations back in September 2003 and its imminent failure is a surprise given that Finland is a high tech market and that fixed-mobile convergence is seen by many as the future for communications. Existing Wivanet customers are being given the option to switch from Wi-Fi to Elisa’s ADSL network.