At Heathrow there are inumerate banners, animations and promotions proclaiming the availability of “the wireless web”. The T-mobile extortions have even come down in price (to 5 quid an hour – still hurts… Narita is 5 quid-ish for 24 hours) to entice the 802.11 enabled further.
However, there’s still the old problem of electricity. Terminal Three seems to be full of false electrical dawns. Plugs by comfy chairs that don’t deliver any juice when you hook up to them. After trying about 4 of these and not getting anywhere, I homed in on a pack of tanned middle-aged men with a complicated array of “fannypacks” and rucksacks. “Aha – silicon valley middle management types!” I thought.
Lo and behold they had discovered the electrical watering hole. FYI – it’s by the central pillar if you draw a line between Dixons and Hugo Boss.
Crisis over, I’m now getting a little bit of extra charge on my iBook for the inflight emergency episodes of Alias if the movies suck.
So, the question is – why don’t T-mobile and BTOpenzone spend a little bit of their marketing budget on signage or seating by electrical outlets?
Perhaps even underwrite a little interior design or minor capital works to get a couple of extra outlets in there. It would probably encourage a lot more usage of their services, and cost very little. Having some kind of physical locus would encourage things like interchange between experts, novices and the curious – further word-of-mouth marketing and free technical support.
It would help travelling wifi users with little time on their hands to explore for electricity, make incremental sales, and create warm-and-fuzzies about the brands involved.