Targeting the Flyers

By Eric Griffith

April 05, 2004

Hotspot access has opened in seven mid-sized airports around the United States including El Paso, Omaha, Anchorage and others.

After starting with shops and coffee houses around the Washington D.C. area, WiSE Technologies of Landover, Md., is today announcing seven new hotspot locations in the type of location it plans to put its stamp on for the foreseeable future: airports.

WiSE is handling the public access Wi-Fi now available at seven airports in the US: Anchorage International Airport, Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport, El Paso International Airport, Miami International Airport, Omaha Airport Authority Eppley Airfield, Palm Beach International Airport, and LaGuardia Airport (in the Delta Airline terminal).

The company had previously installed a hotspot with one other airport: Baltimore Washington International. Coming soon (also according to the company Web site) are some areas of the Los Angeles International Airport and Juneau International in Alaska.

While airports are its focus, Najib (Jim) Kabanni, executive vice president of WiSE, says that smaller markets like marinas could be in their future -- they could perhaps be fulfilled through third-party partners. For now, WiSE will stick with the airports.

"We are the service provider, we install it ourselves and operate it, we own the end user [relationship]," says Kabanni.

Instead of just offering blocks of minutes, he says WiSE has a plan "that's like going to the gas pump -- it's running as long as you hold the hose." That costs 25 cents per minute, but they also offer daily ($7.95) and unlimited monthly ($24.95) rates.

The company also tries to help people who want to go wireless but don't have the equipment by renting wireless devices. They make systems available kiosk style in some areas, such as food courts in airports.

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