Wi-Fi On The Go

Public Wi-Fi, hotspots. Wi-Fi at airports, train stations, on airplanes, in hotels, shopping malls, coffee shops, restaurants and even in public spaces. Each day you see more and more Wi-Fi being deployed by mobile operators, hotspot operators, and cable operators.

Using all these connection options may sometimes be easy, but other times it feels like work. That’s why three companies at the forefront of Wi-Fi connectivity for different audiences are important to know about.

Boingo. Based in Los Angeles, Boingo is the world’s largest aggregator of carrier and independent hotspots, but they do more than that. Boingo operates airport Wi-Fi in leading cities around the globe. Their small cell networks cover more than a million DAS and Wi-Fi locations and reaches more than 1 billion consumers annually – in places as varied as airports, stadiums, universities, and military bases.

iPass.  Based in the heart of Silicon Valley, if Boingo is the operator’s Wi-Fi partner, iPass is the enterprise’s best friend. Created as a cloud-based service, iPass provides mostly business customers access to Wi-Fi, via the world’s largest Wi-Fi partner network. Unlike Boingo, who partners with iPass to reach the enterprise community, iPass doesn’t own or operate any hotspots. Instead it provides easy connectivity to business executives who travel the globe via a single connection service.

FON. Based in Spain, FON was the originator of a crowdsourced Wi-Fi network. The way FON works is consumers or businesses purchase a FON hotspot and activate it. Once the hotspot is active, “Foneros” are able to connect to any other FON hotspot. Since their original launch, FON has branched out, applying their crowdsource to free access model to mobile operators, including AT&T, France Telecom and more, making it easy for customers to quickly and easily latch onto another FON powered Wi-Fi hotspot.

But there’s more services out there providing reliable Wi-Fi wherever you may be. If you’re a frequent flier who needs to “stay connected” a GoGo subscription will keep you connected in the air across the skies of North America. GoGo offers a variety of plans from single flight to recurring monthly subscriptions that work on all airlines deploying their service.

Truckers and RV’ers love to use the Internet out on the open road. That’s why Interstate SpeedZone was created. Available at truck stops under the TA or Petro stopping center brands, passes are available for purchase from one hour to one year.  For boaters and the sailing world two companies are driving marina Wi-Fi. Beacon Wi-Fi and OnSpot W-Fi are helping those on the water navigate their way through the water world with Wi-Fi.

And not to be left out of the mix, the USA’s top cable operators have made it easy for their customers to roam onto one another’s’ Wi-Fi hotspot networks.

Staying connected is becoming ubiquitous and Wi-Fi is what makes it easy to connect to be online, just about everywhere. Isn’t it time you found a hotspot near you….



Andy Abramson is Xceptional's Marketing Consultant, long time VoIP industry watcher, and author of VoIPWatch.