Verizon has negotiated to offer to its broadband subscribers Wi-Fi connectivity through many of the same Wi-Fi hotspots throughout North America already open to AT&T and T-Mobile subscribers.
These hotspots include Barnes & Noble bookstores, Starbucks coffee shops, hotels, airports and other venues.
The value of Wi-Fi connectivity is enormous for everyone involved. For subscribers, broadband access through cellular networks is expensive and often eats up minutes. Operators get to offload some of the growing amount of broadband traffic off of their cellular networks, which are already heavily burdened.
Through Verizon Wi-Fi, the company is giving its mobile broadband customers access to thousands of Wi-Fi hotspots at no additional charge. Verizon said users can move between the two fairly easily.
Verizon customers must have a monthly mobile broadband or GlobalAccess plan. They must also have a Verizon Wi-Fi-supported device, including a mobile broadband USB modem, PC card, ExpressCard, Verizon Wireless MiFi 2200 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot, or a notebook or netbook with mobile broadband built-in running Windows 7, 2000, XP or Vista, the company said.
Other devices are supported and are listed on the company’s Web site.