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Boingo gets mobile gadgets hooked on Wi-Fi

Dual-mode handsets to be able to connect to the company's worldwide Wi-Fi network on the cheap.

BARCELONA, Spain--Wi-Fi network aggregator Boingo Wireless announced a low-cost service that lets people connect their Wi-Fi mobile devices to any of its 60,000 hot spots around the world.

Consumers can download the Boingo Mobile software to automatically connect and roam to more than 150 network operators around the world, the company said Monday at the 3GSM World Congress here. The service, which costs $7.95 per month, provides unlimited Wi-Fi access.

"Wi-Fi enabled phones just became a whole lot more useful," Tim Farrell, Boingo vice president for product management and professional services, said in a statement. "With the worldwide access of Boingo Mobile, subscribers can use their phones for the applications that make them more productive, let them stay in touch or just have a little more fun."

The software and service should make it even easier for people with dual-mode cell phones to make voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calls, receive "push" e-mail, send SMS (Short Message Service) text messages, watch online videos and search the Web from their wireless handsets, the company said.

The Boingo Mobile service is currently available for Windows Mobile 5.0-based smart phones and Pocket PC devices. It's also available for users of Belkin's Wi-Fi Phone for Skype.

In a separate announcement on Monday, Boingo revealed plans to showcase at the 3GSM show Nokia's Symbian-based S60 phones using Boingo Mobile Wi-Fi access.

In October, Boingo announced that it would provide seamless connectivity between its Wi-Fi network and the cellular network of Helio, a mobile virtual-network operator. Boingo was founded by Sky Dayton, Helio's CEO.