Google Buys Hotspot Provider…NOT

Posted by Sam Churchill on

A press release announced today that Google has acquired wireless Internet network provider ICOA for $400 million.

But sources at Google told AllThingsD that the search giant has NOT acquired ICOA Wireless, contrary to the press release posted on PR Web. Techcrunch, which initially reported the deal, is now reporting that the CEO of ICOA is denying the report as well.

“Someone, I guess a stock promoter with a dubious interest, is disseminating wrong, false and misleading info in the PR circles,” the ICOA CEO wrote in an email.

ICOA provides wireless and wired networks in high-traffic public locations in the US, adding WiFi hotspot zones to airports, restaurants, universities, travel plazas, and other public venues.

ICOA, based in Warwick, RI, owns Wi-Fi networks in 40 states. Partners include iPass, BroadSky Networks and Boingo Wireless.

Google worked with Boingo this year to provide free Wi-Fi at more than 4,000 hotspots across America as part of a collaboration with Google Play. The Google sponsored Boingo Wi-Fi locations include 15 airports, such as New York’s John F. Kennedy, Chicago O’Hare and Seattle-Tacoma, Boingo-enabled Manhattan subway stations, and thousands of hotels, shopping malls, cafés and recreational areas.

ICOA codes are a four-character alphanumeric code designating each airport around the world. They are defined by the International Civil Aviation Organization.

Boingo Wireless and Google sponsored free Wi-Fi across New York City from June 25 through September 7, 2012 in select New York City subway stations and at Boingo hotzones across Manhattan, courtesy of Google Offers.

The Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Passpoint program enables mobile devices to automatically discover and connect to Wi-Fi networks, without the manual fiddling of wireless settings. Passpoint allows cell companies to enable roaming agreements with hotspot providers, enabling new revenue streams and making Wi-Fi an extension of paid service provider networks. Passpoint-certified devices work across vendors and have Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2) security protections.

Boingo Wireless recently announced its support of the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) advanced Next Generation Hotspot trials, slated for Q4 2012.

Gartner says mobile ads generated close to $3.3 billion worldwide in 2011 and projects they will top $20 billion annually by the end of 2015.

Related Dailywireless articles include; Microsoft Sponsors Free WiFi in NYC & SF, AT&T: 40,000 Small Cells, Chicago Announces Free WiFi in Parks, Boingo: Free WiFi this September , Free Subway WiFi in NYC , WiFi Offload for Regional Carriers, Hotspot 2.0, Cellular/WiFi Roaming Gets Real, Street light Provides Wi-Fi, Cell Coverage, Hotspot 2.0, Intel: Basestation in the Cloud, Clearwire: On the Hot Zone, Sprint to use LightRadio for Small Cells,

Posted by Sam Churchill on Monday, November 26th, 2012 at 7:35 am .

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