RealTime IT News

Boingo Continues to Grow

It's been a busy week for Santa Monica-based hotspot aggregator Boingo Wireless. The company, which provides Wi-Fi based Internet connections at more than 600 partner access areas in the United States, is continuing to grow by adding partners, pushing promotion, and offering hotspot setup hardware.

Boingo -- which launched in 2001and has already partnered with companies like Wayport, Surf and Sip, and HereUare to offer Boingo service via their hotspots -- announced that it has signed on Airpath Wireless as a new Boingo partner. AirPath of Toledo, OH, has been offering wireless Internet access in public spots and in residential setups since 2001.

The addition of AirPath adds 36 hotspots to Boingo's network, including 26 airports. Boingo now has over 600 Wi-Fi hotspots in the United States.

In the hopes of adding even more hotspot partners, Boingo is now offering Boingo-configured access points for $895 to anyone who wants to offer Wi-Fi connections to the customers on their premises. The hardware (called Hot Spot in a Box, AKA the CN3000 Wireless Access Controller from Colubris Networks) comes with a complete marketing kit with instructions on how to resell Boingo service and table tents, stickers, and CDs promoting the service.

Anyone who has a venue with a broadband connection and static IP address that signs up as a Boingo Hot Spot Operator and buys the Colubris hardware is automatically listed in the Boingo directory. Once customers are using the service, Boingo will send a check to the venue owner based on aggregate customer connections ($1 for every Boingo member who connects in a 24-hour session) and $20 for each Boingo member sign up at that location.

This coincides with Boingo's Hot-Spot-in-a-Box specification, which Boingo uses to set standards for the hardware needed by potential partners. Wi-Fi product manufacturers can get a copy direct from Boingo. Agere's announced smart access point technology will support this spec. Boingo and Nomadix previously announced another product to use the standard, the Nomadix Universal Subscriber Gateway.

Promotion is big on Boingo's slate this week, as they also announced plans to setup shop in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Seattle-Tacoma airports, where they resell access provided by Wayport. Both airports will have staffed booths where Boingo will offer free 802.11b network interface cards to anyone that signs for three months of service through Boingo Wireless. Any Wayport users at the airport will find the login Web pages co-branded with Boingo's logo, with links to download the Boingo software.

Boingo service consists of a software tool that seeks out partner hotspots and lets users log in to the Internet via these partner access areas. The program has a "personal VPN" feature to instantly secure a connection.

Christian Gunning, Director of Product Management at Boingo Wireless , and Colby Goff, Director, Business Development, Boingo Wireless will both be speaking on panels at the 80211 Planet Conference & Expo in Philadelphia on June 12, 2002.