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Hotspot prices to fall after Boingo goes global with WiFi

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WiFi pioneer Boingo is passing the 100,000 hotspot mark, with a new WiFi service "providing international business travellers with access to more than 100,000 locations around the world for one low monthly cost with no roaming charges and no per-minute fees."

The key detail, however, will be the decision to go flat rate.

The official announcement says: "At €29 or $39 per month, Boingo Global is the world's most affordable global roaming plan, establishing a new paradigm for business travellers using WiFi to remain connected and productive as they travel internationally. With no incremental roaming fees, Boingo Global is also the world's first truly global flat-rate service."

David Hagan, CEO of Boingo issued an official statement which went: "The days of per-minute charges and incremental roaming fees for Wi-Fi Internet access are over. Travelling for business is hard enough without having to watch the clock while you're trying to be productive."

The announcement has hit major headlines. The New York Times quoted Hagan: "We are targeting the globe-trotting international travellers who pass through many major cities. This is for the person who has meetings in London, then goes to Paris and finishes the day in Frankfurt. There are some existing customers who travel who we think will be interested, and we'll market to them, but we think this serves a new segment."

The same report went on to quote European rival The Cloud where Owen Geddes, director of business development said: "We will be rolling out flat-rate pricing in the next few months."

The Cloud now claims to own and operate 7,000 hot spots in Britain and 1,500 more in Germany, Sweden, Norway and Denmark.

"WiFi across Europe for the consumer market is just too expensive now," Geddes told the NYT, "so we will be repositioning ourselves by lowering prices in the coming months."

Boingo is partnering with France's Hub télécom and Norway’s Oslo Lufthavn Tele & Data AS (OLTD) - two of Europe's leading WiFi providers - to bring Boingo Global to market in Europe.

Last month, the Spanish FON network became a Boingo associate, too. That "when integrated" said the announcement, "will provide access to an additional 130,000 hot spot locations – more than doubling the company’s network size." There's still no date for this, however.

A Japanese associate is provided through Livedoor, which claims to "blanket" metro Tokyo.

In France, secure sign up for Boingo Global is available at 48 Hub télécom hot spots in airports and hotels, including Charles de Gaulle International Airport, Orly International Airport and Holiday Inn/Express hotels nationwide.

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