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Boingo Wi-Fi checks in to more hotels

The Wi-Fi service provider goes after more business travelers, cutting a deal with a company that specializes in offering broadband Net access via the hospitality industry.

Wi-Fi access provider Boingo Wireless is going after more business travelers, cutting a deal with a company that specializes in offering broadband Net access in hotels, Boingo announced Tuesday.

The agreement, with Salt Lake City-based STSN, expands Boingo's roaming network of Wi-Fi hot spots by up to 2,600 locations, of which 1,400 are now live, and 1,200 are in the process of being added to the network.

"Every time we bring on new locations, the Boingo roaming system becomes more valuable to our major carrier customers, our hot spot operator partners, and most importantly, to the rapidly growing community of users that depend upon Wi-Fi," Dave Hagan, president of Boingo Wireless, said in a release. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

STSN, which sets up the hot spots, is focused on offering Wi-Fi access to the hospitality industry. Santa Monica, Calif.-based Boingo's Wi-Fi service lets subscribers access thousands of hot spot locations using one account. Boingo's service is designed to give subscribers a common experience, in terms of quality of service and software interface.

Hotel chains that use STSN include those of Marriott, Hilton Hospitality and Starwood.

IDC analyst Keith Waryas agreed that hotels are a choice location when it comes to targeting business travelers, but they're not a sure thing in the way that airports or conference centers are.

"The question is whether or not they (hotels) are going to be a moneymaker for hot spots, because travelers have multiple ways of (getting) broadband access, including wireline connections," Waryas said.

The deal increases by 70 percent the number of hotels in which Boingo subscribers can access the service.

About 40 percent of people that connect to the Boingo service do so from hotels, a Boingo representative said. About 40 percent connect from airports, and about 20 percent do so from conference centers, cafes and other public areas.