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Wi-Fi hot spots book into small hotels

Pronto Networks and GuestWiFi are joining forces to provide wireless hot-spot service designed for small to midsize hotels, the largest segment of the hospitality industry. Hot spots are areas where wireless Internet access is available to the public using Wi-Fi, a wireless networking technology based on the 802.11b, 802.11a and--by midyear--the 802.11g standards. Wi-Fi lets people access a network wirelessly and share resources on that network. The number of hot-spot locations is expected to multiply dramatically by the end of the year.

Pleasanton, Calif.-based Pronto Networks provides software and services that help hot-spot operators with configuration, access control, security, billing and roaming. GuestWiFi has provided wireless service to hotel chains such as Best Western, Holiday Inn and FourPoints Sheraton. GuestWiFi estimated that subscribers logged on to its hot spots for more than 30,000 minutes this month.