What the Networks Charge

The charges and payment structure in this section are based on information published by each network or on conversations I have had with Wi-Fi network company representatives. As I've noted before, they are certainly subject to change, so you should verify current pricing for yourself. I've tried to include some tips and ideas for getting the most out of each Wi-Fi network.

Cingular Wireless

Cingular Wi-Fi service, called Laptop Connect, offers a number of different Wi-Fi service plans, as shown in Table 10.2.

Table 10.2. Cingular Wireless Wi-Fi Plans




1 Time Connect

One-time 24 hour access at the location at which access was purchased.


5 Connect Package

Five one-time connects; valid for six months (note that each connect is only good at a single location).


10 Connect Package

Ten one-time connects; valid for six months (note that each connect is only good at a single location).


Monthly Unlimited

"Unlimited" usage at unlimited locations. Note that this "unlimited" plan is actually limited to 150 connections per month (for "antifraud" reasons). Although 150 connections per month is a lot, one could easily see how it might be exceeded.

$69.99 per month

Cingular Wireless has a substantial presence in Amtrak train stations, airports, andvia its roaming arrangements with Wayport and Stayonlinemore than 500 hotels.

Boingo Wireless

Boingo Wireless has two kinds of payment plans available as shown in Table 10.3.

Table 10.3. Boingo Wireless Wi-Fi Plans




Boingo AsYouGo

Unlimited daily access from any number of locations

$7.95 for the first two days; $7.95 for each additional day thereafter

Boingo Unlimited

True unlimited monthly access from any number of locations

$21.95 per month for the first year; $31.95 per month thereafter

Boingo Wireless has more than 3,500 locations, including 112 hotspots at airports, 1,175 hotspots at restaurants and coffee shops, 1,429 hotspots at hotels, and 19 hotspots at convention centers. In addition, Boingo has extensive roaming arrangements with Wayport, Surf and Sip, and many smaller networks. If you download Boingo's special software, you can use roaming networks seamlessly. (You won't even know that you are roaming).

Otherwise, if you connect normally to a hotspot, you can enter your Boingo user ID and password to log on to the "foreign" network. The ability to effectively roam on other networks greatly extends Boingo's Wi-Fi network.

Sprint PCS


In some cases, you can save money by using Boingo for access and then roaming on a foreign (and nominally more costly) Wi-Fi network.

Sprint PCS offers Wi-Fi access on a daily basis or as part of its business data plans as shown in Table 10.4. The Sprint business data plans shown in Table 10.4 are primarily intended for business customers. Costs are based on the amount of data transferred between your mobile computer and the Wi-Fi network.

Table 10.4. Sprint PCS Wi-Fi Plans





Unlimited daily access from a particular location



Unlimited monthly access

$49.95 per month

Sprint PCS has no Wi-Fi roaming arrangements available, but is rapidly rolling out hotspots across its network, particularly in airports and hotels.

T-Mobile Hotspot

T-Mobile Hotspot is the leading provider of Wi-Fi hotspot services and perhaps the old-line telecommunications company that has successfully created a true national Wi-Fi network. (T-Mobile is a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom).

This effort is spearheaded, of course, by the presence of T-Mobile Wi-Fi access points in Starbucks shops. There are also T-Mobile Hotspots in most Borders bookstores and in many airports and hotels.

Table 10.5 shows the T-Mobile Hotspot pricing plans.

Table 10.5. T-Mobile Hotspot Wi-Fi Plans




Metered Plan

This is a no-strings-attached, pay-as-you-go plan. No term commitment, valid at all locations.

$0.10 per minute, with a 60-minute minimum


Unlimited access from all locations for twenty-four hours.


Unlimited NationalMonthly

Unlimited monthly access.

$39.99 per month

Unlimited NationalAnnual

Unlimited monthly access with a price break when you commit to a year.

$29.99 per month

T-Mobile offers no roaming facilities on other networks.


Wayport is a Wi-Fi pioneer, with massive presences particularly in hotels and airports.

The Wayport pricing plans are shown in Table 10.6. (Because Wayport allows vendors who put up one of their hotspots to markup their single-use fees, you should verify costs.)

Table 10.6. Wayport Wi-Fi Plans




Single hotel connection

Unlimited access from a guest room or common area. Note that guest rooms and common areas are considered to be separate locations, and charged separately. (You incur two fees.)

$9.95 until next hotel check-in time. (Hotel might mark this up, so you should check because it might vary.)

Single airport connection

Unlimited access from an airport.

$6.95 from purchase time through midnight.

Prepaid connection cards

Wayport connection cards give you time-limited access. (The amount of access varies by location.) These cards can be bought at Wayport's Laptop Lane facilities, found in many airports. (You'll also get a Laptop Lane discount when you buy one.)

$25 for 3 connections.

$50 for 8 connections.

$100 for 20 connections.

Month-to-month membership

Unlimited monthly access.

$49.95 per month.

Annual membership

Unlimited monthly access with a price break when you commit to a year.

$29.95 per month with a one-year contract.

Wayport does not offer roaming on other networks to its customers.

Anywhere Computing with Laptops. Making Mobile Easier
Anywhere Computing with Laptops. Making Mobile Easier
ISBN: 789733277
Year: 2004
Pages: 204

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