Do you remember when you were a kid and you un-invited people to your birthday party (that was 8 months away) because you were annoyed with them?
Well Boingo is offering a free Wi-Fi service to consumers with over 4,000 hotspots across the United States in collaboration with Google Play –but iOS, Windows Phone and Blackberry users aren’t invited (though you can hop on their network if you are running OS X or a Windows-based computer).
The hotspots provided by Boingo are part of the company’s Cloud Nine Media platform, which gives advertisers the opportunity to reach a new set of consumers by way of sponsorships and will be seen in hotels, airports (including New York’s John F. Kennedy, Chicago O’Hate and Seattle-Tacoma), cafes, recreational areas and other locations deemed to be “high-traffic”,
The full extent of the services available via the hotspots is unknown, though it seems users will have access to some “free content” as well as the range of apps, music, movies and e-books made available through Google Play.
Dawn Callahan, vice president of consumer marketing for Boingo Wireless describes the news by saying:
“Google Play is the first to take part in our newly expanded Wi-Fi sponsorship network, which reaches millions of consumers each month with place-based brand engagements. Sponsorships like this give users the free Wi-Fi they crave, advertisers the consumer interaction they need, and venues the revenue to offset the costs associated with providing a high-bandwidth Wi-Fi experience.”
Now for the catch: the free Wi-Fi is only available until the end of September, so if you are able it would be good to give it a test-run before then.
News like this does remind me of rumors that circulated a while ago that suggested Apple may be working on some kind of data service of their own… so maybe there will be an alternative for those running iOS devices sometime soon(ish). Certainly if Boingo’s service takes off there will be a sense of urgency for something to pop up to accommodate the millions (and millions) of iPhones and iPads out there looking for (free, or at least inexpensive) Wi-Fi.