Boingo, Linksys Team on WiFi

Linksys adds Boingo's Hot Spot in a Box to its WRV54G wireless routers to help small businesses set up commercial hotspots

April 14, 2004

3 Min Read

SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- Boingo Wireless and Linksys(R), a division of Cisco Systems, Inc., today announced a joint Hot Spot in a Box(R) program that makes commercial Wi-Fi hot spot business opportunities available to small businesses including coffee shops, restaurants, doctor's offices, gas stations, independent hotels, retail outlets, and office lobbies where high speed wireless Internet access can be available.

Providing customer Wi-Fi access can help the bottom line of these small firms by attracting customers who use this service during waiting times or who may spend more time in a shop buying more products. In addition to tangible indirect benefits, operating a Boingo(TM) hot spot can generate profits of between $300 and $400 per month based on an average of only two user connections per day and 10 sign-ups per month.

The Hot Spot in a Box feature is now available on the Linksys Wireless-G VPN Broadband Router (WRV54G), the company's flagship small business Wi-Fi router solution. Current Linksys WRV54G customers can also update their router with the Boingo Hot Spot in a Box feature at no additional charge by simply downloading new firmware from the Linksys website.

By connecting the router to an existing DSL, cable or other broadband connection and activating the Hot Spot in a Box feature, a business owner can easily add their location to the Boingo Roaming System, a network of nearly 7,000 hot spots worldwide. Once activated, they can access the Boingo Hot Spot in a Box administration site to monitor their traffic, make configuration changes and even add new hot spots in additional locations.

Once a Hot Spot in a Box location is activated, Boingo subscribers and Boingo Platform Services partners (currently MCI, EarthLink, Fiberlink, Infonet and Telecom Italia) can use the hot spot as part of their regular monthly service fee, while non-Boingo users can pay a daily connect fee to go online. The Linksys Wireless G VPN Router can also be easily configured to let employees of the business location use the Wi-Fi network without additional charge.

Every time a commercial user connects to the hot spot, the hot spot owner would receive a connect fee of currently either $4 for a daily user or $1 for a Boingo Roaming System subscriber. And if a new subscriber signs up for a monthly hot spot subscription for the first time, the venue owner would currently earn a $20 "bounty". All related marketing, billing, 1-800 technical support and other back-office services are handled by Boingo and its Platform Services partners. To attract users, the venue will be listed in online hot spot directories sponsored by Boingo and Intel Corp. and the business will receive a Boingo/Intel(R) marketing kit including table tents, posters, Centrino(TM) window stickers and other materials. Both the business owner and Wi-Fi users have access to Boingo's customer support.

"Until now, it has been difficult for millions of small businesses to offer Wi-Fi service to their customers due to the cost, technical expertise and marketing support needed to operate a commercial hot spot," said Floyd Hubbell, Boingo vice president and general manager of sales, marketing and business development. "The Linksys WRV54G is the perfect instant hot spot to help these businesses offer a competitive and profitable amenity for the growing numbers of Wi-Fi enabled consumers."

"Adding Boingo's Hot Spot in a Box capability to our router enhances the value of this product by enabling our small business customers to generate additional revenues through hot spot services as well as increase awareness of their business as word spreads of their hot spot location. This means a lot to a small business owner who has to compete against national chains," said Steve Troyer, Linksys Director of Product Marketing. "Our Wireless-G VPN Router combined with Boingo's Hot Spot in a Box program provides small businesses and resellers with a complete easy to use package to providing Wi-Fi access to employees and customers."

Boingo Wireless Inc.

Linksys

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