Wayport Offers Digital Magazines

By Wi-Fi Planet Staff

July 23, 2003

Some say offering only Internet connectivity at hotspots isn't enough, that services or content should come with it. Wayport might be one of the first, as they are now offering electronic copies of BusinessWeek to subscribers.

Wayport of Austin, Texas, has scored big of late, having become the WISP behind the San Francisco Bay area's 75 McDonald's hotspots and partnering with Sprint as the telco rolls out support for Wi-Fi in all of Wayport's many locations in hotels, airports, and some convention centers.

But some say that just offering Internet connections at such hotspots isn't enough -- that ancillary services or content are needed. Wayport might again be on the lucky end of things.

The company has entered an agreement with Zinio Systems of Brisbane, Calif., to offer digital versions of magazine content to it's subscribers. Specifically, Wayport customers will, for a trial period, be able to get a digital copy of BusinessWeek each week via download.

Zinio provides special software for reading the digital version of the magazine. Zinio, in fact, offers more than 70 titles from 30 publishers in its proprietary format.

Wayport says that market research has shown them that business travelers -- the bulk of the type of users Wayport gets -- want to get their magazine information on the road, "in the same familiar format as print."

Wayport users at hotspots or their wired connections --or any Internet user for that matter -- will be able to use the Zinio reader (available for Windows 98 to XP, including for Tablet PCs, and MacOS X users) to access digital versions of magazines such as Technology Review, MacWorld, Motor Trend, GamePro, and many others in the categories of general interest, hobbies, personal computing and IT, sport, automotive, and others. BusinessWeek is currently the best selling magazine Zinio offers, according to their Web site. The price to download a single copy of that magazine is $4.95. Others are available by subscription only.

Wayport users who make the jump to a subscription of the digital version of BusinessWeek will also get a $25 prepaid connection card for future use on the Wayport network.



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