Portable computers with 802.11b-compliant wireless networking cards are practically ubiquitous, thanks to Apple’s leading efforts with AirPort on both PowerBook and iBook lines. Still, outside of the home network or the office, accessing the Internet wirelessly can still create some hassle. One company,
hereUare, has come up with an interesting solution.
When you’re hooked up to an AirPort Base Station or other 802.11b (or WiFi)-compliant Internet access point in your house or at the office, it’s simple to get connected and check your e-mail or tend to the business of the day. More and more companies — airline guest services, hotels and coffee shops for example — are catching on to this trend and are installing wireless access points in their facilities. But until recently, you’ve had to pay as you go, setting up, maintaining and funding separate accounts with each wireless service provider contracted or owned by these companies in order to function.
hereUare presents an alternative to that mishmash, however, by helping to develop the concept of what it calls “Unified Wireless Access.” hereUare said that it’s working with leading service providers and hardware vendors to make sure you can hook up and surf with a minimum of administrative hassle when you’re on the road. hereUare’s focus is on offering three categories of wireless network services, which it breaks down to Access, Aggregation and Private Label/Billing.
hereUare has hundreds of access point locations around the US where users can connect using WiFi-compliant equipment like Apple’s own AirPort card. Access points include hotels, Starbucks coffee shops, conference centers and many other locations.
hereUare has also developed a corporate sponsorship program which allows qualified users to have free access through next month; the company is accepting applications through an online survey (you’ll be notified via e-mail within a few days if you qualify). If you don’t make the cut, you can actually buy access into the JumpStart II program with uninterrupted access through the end of March for US$60.
The company offers a “Global Locator” application that enables you to find hereUare-affiliated service providers near you, and they recently released a version of the application that runs natively in Mac OS X. So far, Mac OS X is the only Mac operating system that hereUare supports with the app.