Mobile technology should not be about cramming the office into your pocket but a way to enjoy your everyday life.

The joy of WiFi: SparkNet


I just noticed I have a free, high speed, internet connection. A nice surprise.

I am sitting in a meeting room at VTT Technical Research Center in Espoo, Finland, and my computer told me there was a WiFi network in the area. The name of the network is SparkNet. Could this be the same SparkNet that started out as a city wide network in Turku/Åbo as a cooperation between the universities in the city and the city itself.

Indeed it is, and my user name and password that I got when I started studying 14 years ago (ok, I have changed the password a few times since then) worked and I got access to this WiFi network here at VTT.

It turns out SparkNet now has close to 2.000 base stations in different cities around Finland, usually associated to universities and public facilities. The network is not free, but students at participating universities can use their own university accounts to gain access to SparkNet at any of the participating facilities. An interesting example of WiFi as a government financed basic infrastructure.