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11/10/2008
03:39 PM
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Boingo Acquires Opti-Fi To Boost Airport Wi-Fi

The purchase follows by a few days AT&T's acquisition of Wayport, which widens AT&T's Wi-Fi hotspot population to nearly 20,000 in the United States.

Boingo Wireless continued its drive to deliver Wi-Fi at airports by acquiring Opti-Fi Networks in a deal that will beef up its Wi-Fi infrastructure services and add 25 airports to its existing network of hotspots.

Announced Monday, the acquisition increases Boingo-operated airport networks from 30 to 55. The acquisition paves the way for Boingo to cover 43% of passenger enplanements in North America's largest airports, the company said. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Boingo, which offers Wi-Fi access to more than 100,000 hotspots globally through its subscription service, delivers the wireless service to travelers through various subscription plans. Its worldwide service is available to mobile phone and tablet subscribers for $7.95 a month. A more comprehensive service that also covers laptops, Boingo AsYouGo, is available for a daily price of $7.95, while a monthly account covering the Americas is available for $21.95.

"With the acquisition of Opti-Fi, we are able to integrate their network seamlessly into ours, provide high-quality connection to those airports, and increase the Boingo Enterprise solution to more airports," said Dave Hagan, CEO and president of Boingo Wireless, in a statement.

Just a few years ago, some airports tried to lock travelers into using their proprietary Wi-Fi hotspots. The FCC had to step in two years ago when Boston's Logan Airport management tried to restrict outside vendors from delivering Wi-Fi service at the airport.

The Boingo acquisition follows by a few days AT&T's acquisition of Wayport, which widens AT&T's Wi-Fi hotspot population to nearly 20,000 in the United States. Wayport already supplies Wi-Fi service to many McDonald's locations in airports.

Boingo said it was acquiring the Opti-Fi Networks operation from airport management firm ARINC and the Parsons Transportation Group.

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