Free Hotspot launches ad-funded WiFi

Advertisers are being offered the chance to reach technology-literate consumers via a new free WiFi hotspot network which launches in the UK and France this week.

Free Hotspot – see – will send ads to users of its WiFi network every five to seven minutes, according to chief executive Dan Toomey. The ads will only appear as “interstitials”, when users move from one website to another.

Toomey stresses that the system is totally permission-based, with Free Hotspot logos clearly displayed in areas where the service operates. Laptop and mobile users will have to agree to receiving the ads in return for full free WiFi connectivity. Those who do not will only be able to access the Free Hotspot homepage.

There are a number of WiFi hotspots around the UK, but they tend to be pay-per-use services, such as the one run by T-Mobile in 12,000 locations across Europe and the US, including Starbucks coffee shops, hotels and airport lounges.

Toomey suggests that the ability to offer free WiFi connectivity could offer venue, café and restaurant owners a competitive edge over rivals.

Toomey, who founded Free Hotspot with his own money, was previously chief executive of US connectivity company Nomadix, which runs WiFi services in many US airports. He claims that Free Hotspot will be the biggest

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here