Wireless service provider T-Mobile USA Inc. announced today plans to expand its Wi-Fi
to include locations managed by American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines.
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T-Mobile USA Inc. is a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom AG. In addition to Wi-Fi locations, the company also offers cellular phone service and other wireless services for consumers and business. In the past several months T-Mobile has announced partnerships with coffee shop chain Starbucks and book seller Borders to develop Wi-Fi HotSpots at many of their retail locations, as well.
Today’s announcement paves the way for T-Mobile to set up the clubs and lounges managed by the airlines with Wi-Fi-compatible 802.11b wireless broadband Internet access — supported on the Mac platform by Apple’s AirPort cards, which work in PowerBooks and iBooks. Wi-Fi is also increasingly popular in PC laptops and other mobile devices, like some PDAs and PocketPCs.
T-Mobile will expand existing coverage in American Airlines Admirals Club locations, while adding HotSpots to 100 of the most frequently access American, Delta and United clubs and lounges in airports around the country over the next year. For frequently travelers who don’t have access to these restricted areas, T-Mobile hopes that it will be able to extend coverage to the airline gates themselves “as airport approvals are secured.”
HotSpots offer subscriber-based access to the Internet to exchange e-mail, instant message, surf the Web or anything else you might do from a regular wired or wireless Internet connection. Access to the service is restricted to subscribers who sign up for metered, pre-pay or unlimited monthly access plans.
T-Mobile anticipates that more than 2,000 HotSpot locations will be in service by the end of the year. T-Mobile claims its HotSpots are the largest and fastest-growing network of Wi-Fi public access points in the country.