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Networking

Nextel debuts Wi-Fi service

Company is launching Wi-Fi service aimed at business travelers in partnership with Boingo and Wayport.

Nextel is launching Wi-Fi service aimed at business travelers in partnership with Boingo Wireless and Wayport, the company said Friday.

The service with all three partners will let customers access the Internet from hotspots at airports, hotels, convention centers, retail stores and other locations. The arrangement also gives Nextel customers Internet access in 150,000 hotel rooms where Wayport's wired-Ethernet connections are available.

A related service, Nextel's Wireless PC Access, will provide coverage beyond current hotspots. This service is available with the company's im240 PC card.

Connection software creates single-click access to both services, the company said.

The hotspot service alone is available for laptops for a monthly fee of $39.99. With Wireless PC Access added, the service is charging a promotional rate of $54.99 per month.

Hotspots are public places such airport and hotel lobbies where people can access the Internet from their laptops. According to Nextel, there are about 7,000 hotspots in North America. Recently, the city of Philadelphia unveiled a plan to convert the entire city into a huge hotspot.