Google, Boingo Wireless extend ad-supported Wi-Fi to malls and airports

Boingo Wireless--building on its growing focus of delivering sponsored Wi-Fi service--is extending its existing partnership with Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Offers beyond the New York metro area and into eight malls and 16 airports in major U.S. cities.

Google Offers, a deal-of-the-day website, is already sponsoring free and discounted Boingo Wi-Fi service in six New York subway stations and more than 200 Manhattan hot zones through Sept. 7. That sponsorship is now being expanded to malls and airports in Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Seattle and Washington, D.C.

The companies did not specify which malls are getting the sponsored Wi-Fi and only mentioned a handful of airports getting it, namely New York's John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia, Chicago's O'Hare and Midway as well as Houston's Hobby and George Bush Intercontinental. Visitors to those airports will be able to get 50 percent off a Boingo AsYouGo 24-hour access pass when they subscribe to Google Offers in their city and purchase the deal. This deal is limited to one per person.

"The expansion of the Google Offers sponsorship is a testament to our ability to deliver specific, place-based brand introductions to new customers via the Boingo Wi-Fi network," said Dawn Callahan, vice president of consumer marketing for Boingo Wireless. "Our location-based media services provide a new way to reach mobile consumers with personalized messages where they work, shop and play."

Earlier this month, Boingo acquired Cloud Nine Media as part of its ongoing effort to make a bigger play in delivering sponsored Wi-Fi service for free to end users. Christian Gunning, Boingo vice president of corporate communications, told FierceBroadbandWireless at the time, "Sponsored-access is going to be an increasing part of how we deliver service in any number of venues, whether it's the only type of access or one of several types of access in that venue."

Boingo claims its distributed advertising and sponsorship network serves more than 60 leading airports worldwide, as well as more than 40 shopping centers, stadiums and arenas, quick service restaurants, mass transit stations and hundreds of metropolitan hot zones nationwide reaching more than 1.5 billion people each year.

GigaOM noted Boingo's dominance as a provider of Wi-Fi services in U.S. airports is being challenged by Advanced Wireless Group, which has signed deals with 15 airports where it offered multi-tiered Wi-Fi subscriptions that start with free ad-supported access.

AT&T (NYSE:T) is also entering the airport Wi-Fi arena. The operator announced in April that it will unveil an advertising-supported Wi-Fi network at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport beginning Sept. 1, offering free Wi-Fi in DFW's five terminals, parking garages and ramp areas.

AT&T is also extending its positioning as a Wi-Fi provider in other ways. On Aug. 21, the operator announced the launch of free AT&T Wi-Fi service at Hunts Point Riverside Park in the Bronx borough of New York. The launch was part of a collaboration between AT&T and New York Mayor Bloomberg's Administration to provide free Wi-Fi at 26 parks locations across the city's five boroughs.

New York is also working with Van Wagner Communications, owner of many of the area's payphones, to turn unused payphones into free, public Wi-Fi hotspots under a pilot program.

For more:
- see this Boingo release
- see this GigaOM article
- see this AT&T release

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New York City converts payphones to free Wi-Fi hotspots
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