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5/13/2005
09:19 AM
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Nextel Launches National Hot-Spot Service

Wireless operator partners with Wayport and Boingo to provide access at more than 7,000 North American hot-spots.

U.S. wireless operator Nextel Friday rolled out a service giving subscribers unlimited access to more than 7000 hotspots in North America.

The company isn't developing the hotspots on its own but, rather, is unleashing its WiFi HotSpot service in partnership with Boingo Wireless, the company said in a statement. Boingo has an extensive network of hotspots worldwide, but Nextel users will only have access to the vendor's North American hotspots, a spokesperson said.

In addition, Nextel is partnering with Wayport for access in hotels. However, most of that access is via standard Ethernet connections in hotel rooms as opposed to wireless access, the spokesperson said. While Wayport is, perhaps, best known for its wireless hotspots in places such as McDonalds, it also has installed wired access in 150,000 hotel rooms in the U.S., according to Nextel.

The Nextel spokesperson said that the operator's new program does not include access to most of Wayport's hotspots, such as those in McDonald's restaurants. Subscribers will be able to access the hotspots and in-room access using a a single software client, the company said.

"These competitive and differentiated services combine unlimited use, predictable costs and the nationwide reach of Nextel - addressing the key concerns of individual customers as well as IT managers," Greg Santoro, Nextel's vice president, products and services, said in a statement.

The service is available for $39.99 a month

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