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Turning the Wireless Web Into a Business... Boingo

Techstination feature for Monday, April 1, 2002

Turning the wireless Web into a business. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Sky Dayton, co-founder and chairman of Earthlink calls it...

"The most exciting thing to come along in the Internet for... really since the beginning."

What Dayton is talking about is WiFi... .or wireless connectivity to the net. 802.11b is the most popular technology now... but faster standards are starting to arrive... .and Dayton has a new company called Boingo... that is racing to turn people who use the technology into subscribers...

"And these networks are popping up all over the place, in homes and offices and in public spaces like airports, hotels, caf?s. Previously it was hard to find these networks, even though they were there... let alone connect to them. You had to really tinker with your computer to make it work. So what we've done with Boingo is we've made it just really quite easy. You load our software, you get an account with Boingo and when in one of our hotels or caf?s or airports that are part of the Boingo system, you just pop up our software and click the connect button and start surfing the Internet wirelessly at broadband speeds."

Users pay varying subscription rates... 8 dollars a day... or 25 dollars for ten connect days a month. It gives companies and organizations that have installed wireless networks the opportunity to make money from them by providing access through Boingo. But there is competition... from MobileStar... which is owned by VoiceStream... and other wireless phone carriers are planning to jump in as well. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.