Wi-Fi hotspot aggregator Boingo Wireless
of Santa Monica, CA, has added another company to a growing list that offer
products compatible with Boingo’s growing network. Public Internet access company
NetNearU of College Station, TX, will automatically
offer Boingo access to any hotspot operator who purchases and installs the NetNearU
Routing Access Point or other hardware running NetNearU’s software.
The intent, according to Cody Catalena, NetNearU’s Chief Technology Officer,
is that owner operators of hotspots with Boingo support will end up with more
revenue because Boingo end-users will come to their location.
The NetNearU wireless Routing Access Point (RAP, model RP-5001) is a VHS-sized,
‘plug-and-play’ hardware unit that works with any broadband connection to provide
user and credit card authentication, revenue reporting, equipment monitoring,
and access control. The product is coupled with NetNearU’s TRACKOS system management
software, which handles the authentication, authorization and accounting (AAA).
NetNearU’s software solution is also available to OEMs.
According to Christian Gunning of Boingo Wireless, the NetNearU hotspot devices
will continue to point to the NetNearU clearinghouse directly.
"When [Boingo] customers go through them, the authentication request is
forwarded to our servers," says Gunning. "The integration with NetNearU
is on the backend system."
This deal with NetNearU is not a first or an exclusive partnership for Boingo.
Boingo will not be reselling the NetNearU RAP or TRACKOS, which sell together
for about $595 at the high end. The company already resells hotspot hardware
called Boingo Hot Spot in a Box
for $895.99. That product, actually a Colubris CN3000
Wireless Access Controller, is also preconfigured to work with the Boingo
Boingo’s new partnership with NetNearU is similar to a deal it has with another
wireless network partner, AirPath Wireless, which also resells a "Hotspot
in a Box" product.
Boingo offers its own Hot-Spot-in-a-Box specification to any hardware makers
who wish to create Boingo-ready gateways.
"There are lots of locations that need to be lit up and it’ll take a concerted
effort by all to get it done," says Gunning.
Eric Griffith is the managing editor of 802.11 Planet.