Boingo Wireless, which bills itself as the nation’s top hotspot aggregator, says they are partnering with the Competitive Carriers Association to offer Wi-Fi offload solutions to their carrier members. Boingo Wireless says it has negotiated more than 100 roaming agreements worldwide, giving its users access to half a million hotspots in 83 countries.
Carriers need an offload solution, according to Competitive Carriers Association president and CEO Steve Berry. He says 22% of mobile traffic will be offloaded to Wi-Fi by 2016. The Competitive Carrier Association says that so far this year mobile subscribers have used 500-800 MBs of data per month, with total data usage averaging up to 4 GB per month when Wi-Fi usage is included.
The Boingo Wi-Fi service will be a “white label” offering. That means carriers can rebrand it as part of their service.
Boingo’s competitors in this space include HarborLink, Anyfi Networks, BelAir Networks, recently acquired by Ericsson, and Ruckus Wireless, which offers a beamforming WiFi solution offered by cable and wireless companies.
All are exploring the potential of “Hotspot 2.0″, which offers seamless roaming between cellular and WiFi without the need for authentication, by using the carrier-supplied SIM in your tablet or phone.
Free, ad-supported networks may be next. Boingo Wireless will provide free Wi-Fi at more than 4,000 hotspots with sponsorship from Google Play. The Wi-Fi hotspots are part of Boingo’s Cloud Nine Media platform, a global advertising network that enables brand advertisers to reach a captive audience through Wi-Fi sponsorships.
Wi-Fi users with Android phones and tablets, as well as Windows and Macintosh laptops (but not iPhone or iPads), will be offered complimentary Wi-Fi at thousands of high-traffic locations in dozens of cities nationwide, courtesy ofGoogle Play.