Coffee shop serves up wireless hotspot

A UAE coffee shop has become the latest catering business in the region to offer its customers high speed wireless internet connectivity.

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By  Patrick Phelvin Published  January 13, 2004

A UAE coffee shop has become the latest catering business in the region to offer its customers high speed wireless internet connectivity. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (CBTL) has launched the service at its newest outlet in Dubai’s Jumeirah Centre. Without any extra charge, customers can hook into the wireless local area network (WLAN) for half an hour using a wireless enabled laptop or PDA. “Internet usage in the UAE has been projected to be the highest in the region by 2005. Offering wireless enabled networks to our patrons is in line with the growing interest in hotspots that allows cable-free access to internet through Wi-Fi devices,” says Ismail Akil Abbasi, chief executive officer of Dubtrade LLC, the licensed franchisee of CBTL in the UAE. “Our patrons range from students to professionals and businessmen. The Jumeirah Centre outlet is quite popular for business meetings and providing them the facility to access the internet through wireless was a logical step that we decided to take. The UAE has an increasing number of people who are spending time away from their desks and wish to have access to their email account or their corporate network,” he adds. Patrons who wish to access the internet at the CBTL can open the web browser on their wireless device which will automatically direct to the HotSpot login page and connect to the internet. The main advantage of wireless connectivity within the outlets is that people can access the internet from wherever they choose to sit, without being restricted to a cable connection. The cutting-edge wireless (WLAN) solution at the outlet, which was implemented by Venture Technologies Middle East, allows an unlimited number of users to be connected to the internet at any given time. Patrons can use either Centrino laptops or wireless network cards to access the internet, should they arrive bereft of their own wireless enabled hardware. The CBTL is the latest in a fast-growing number of businesses to invest in wireless technology. The French Connection coffee shop, also in Dubai, launched its hotspot last summer. A number of four and five star hotels in the region also offer wireless internet connectivity to guests.

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