Google, Boingo bring free Wi-Fi to Big Apple

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is sponsoring free Wi-Fi in New York City through Sept. 7 via an agreement with Boingo Wireless. Visitors to the Big Apple can access free Wi-Fi at six subway stations and more than 200 Boingo hotzones throughout Manhattan.

Google Offers, which delivers deals for restaurants, shopping and play in New York City and 39 other U.S cities, is the first sponsor of Boingo Wi-Fi in New York subway stations.

"We're glad our riders will be able to access free Wi-Fi this summer in six subway stations to stay connected while they're underground," said Jerome Page, Metropolitan Transport Authority (MTA) director of strategic initiatives.

Through its partnership with Transit Wireless, exclusive wireless service provider to the MTA, Boingo Wi-Fi is slated for availability in 36 subway stations by year-end and will roll out to more than 270 stations over the next five years, creating a distributed advertising and sponsorship network reaching the subway system's more than 1.6 billion annual passengers, Boingo said.

In other news, Boingo was named the exclusive provider of Wi-Fi services at the Berlin Brandenburg Airport Willy Brandt, which is slated to open March 17, 2013.

Berlin Brandenburg passengers will be allowed to engage in online activities, including email, posting to social networking sites and streaming audio, for up to 30 minutes per day after authenticating their identity with a valid credit or debit card. Travelers can also access premium Boingo Wi-Fi, enabling the use of data intensive applications, video streaming and large file uploading, via any of the company's Wi-Fi plans, the company said.

"This tiered service approach allows airports to serve the needs of both casual and power users while enabling ongoing investment in upgrades and expansion to support ever-increasing demand," Boingo said.

"Our Wi-Fi services can help international tourists and business travelers avoid excessive data roaming charges, while resident travelers can stay productive or be entertained while en route to their destination," said Bjorn Thorngren, director of EMEA for Boingo.

Wi-Fi access plans available to Berlin Brandenburg travelers will include Boingo Europe Plus, providing unlimited access at more than 200,000 hotspots throughout the Europe, Middle East and Africa region for €27.95 ($34.93) per month, and Boingo Global, providing flat rate access anywhere in the world for €49 ($61.24) per month. Hourly and day passes will also be available, Boingo said.

The company said Berlin airport's network will also be available to Boingo's roaming and platform service partners, including Korea Telecom, LGU+, Orange France, NTT Communications, Skype, Telefonica, TeliaSonera and Verizon, which wholesale Wi-Fi access from Boingo and provide self-branded Wi-Fi to their customers.

The Berlin Brandenburg airport joins Boingo's portfolio of more than 60 airports worldwide, including London Heathrow, Chicago O'Hare, New York John F. Kennedy, Denver International, Beijing Capital International Airport, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International, Lisbon Portela and Rome Leonardo da Vinci Fiumicino.

For more:
- see this Boingo release and this release

Related articles:
Virgin will wholesale the Tube's Wi-Fi to other operators
Massive Wi-Fi deployments on track for London Olympics
Cable companies agree to nationwide Wi-Fi roaming deal
Boingo adding to Wi-Fi revenues with advertising and DAS
Boingo CTO: Cellular-to-Wi-Fi roaming to be ready by early 2013

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