With as much hype as the iPad has attracted, it’s hard to believe that customers haven’t even received them yet. Most of the people who preordered their iPads and most who will purchase one will choose to get the WiFi version over the more expensive 3G version. For those who want more reliable internet access without the 3G price, Boingo is standing by, ready to take your WiFi order.
Boingo offers access to over 125,000 WiFi hotspots all over the world (it owns just a handful but has partnerships with the owners for access), all of which will be available for iPad users via a new app. Boingo is not a new service: currently, subscribers pay each month in exchange to access to this virtual hotspot network. What is new, however, is that iPhone, iPad, and iPod users will be able to get a free Boingo WiFi Credit app at the iTunes App Store that will allow them to buy an hour of WiFi for $1.99. The first credit is free. You can also purchase 10 credits for $20 and get an hour free. These are good for a year; if unused, they’ll expire, so get to those hotspots.
The per/hour rate is suited for those who need occasional access, such as when they are traveling. When hotels, resorts, and other locations charge for an Ethernet connection, it can be about $10 to $13.99 a night. If you want to check in, check your email, and look at a few things quickly, this is a colossal waste of money. For those who use the internet more heavily, Boingo is offering a monthly subscription for $7.95. This nets them unlimited data access at Boingo’s hotspots.
Boingo’s CEO, Dave Hagan, said in a prepared statement, “Boingo’s new WiFi credits are an easy, affordable way for millions of users to buy WiFi access through an existing iTunes account. For Apple device owners who find themselves needing WiFi access only occasionally, it’s a great way to put some credits in the bank, so you can draw them down when you need them most.”
You can see a map of all the Boingo hotspots at boingo.jiwire.com. If you download the free app, there is also a hotspot map.
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