RealTime IT News

Los Angeles Area Airports Unwired

T-Mobile Hotspots' latest are big hotspots indeed. They'll have "curb to nose" (of the plane) coverage at both Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and LA/Ontario International Airport (ONT) in California. Both are operated by Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), a city department, which has signed a multi-year deal with T-Mobile for the 802.11b (not 11g) based service found in the terminals and public areas.

The LAX network will span 3.8 million square feet -- T-Mobile says it's one of the largest hotspots in the world -- but no word on how much is in place.

T-Mobile's service is found in many airports, usually powering hotspots for the airline clubs run by American, Delta, United and US Airways. The hotspot service, famed for running in Starbucks and Borders books, is one of the few to provide full Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) encryption with 802.1X authentication as security to all users (if they use the T-Mobile client software). T-Mobile has 8,347 locations in the U.S., plus other venues that allow roaming from T-Mobile customers.

T-Mobile's charges include pay-as-you-go minutes ($6 for the first hour, $.10 per minute thereafter), unlimited use for $10 a day, $30 a month with a 12-month commitment, or $40 month-to-month; it's only $20 a month if you've got a T-Mobile phone. They also have special fees of $5 per month for those using only a Wi-Fi-equipped camera.