Centerlines - December 2008 - (Page 39)

NEW TECHNOLOGY THE WIRELESS WAVE B Y C A R ROL L MCCOR M IC K Airport applications abound for wireless communications technologies W ireless Internet access, or Wi-Fi, has become almost omnipresent wherever travelers gather – coffee shops, hotels and airports. Airports regard Wi-Fi as a near necessity for passengers. Some charge for access and others do not, and free versus fee is a topic of lively debate among airport authorities. Los Angeles-based Wi-Fi hotspot operator Boingo Wireless extended its own pay-for-use networks to 29 North American airports, plus London Heathrow, with revenue-sharing agreement with airports. Its inventory, as of October, includes 242 U.S. and 13 Canadian airport hotspots. Hotspots provide a bubble of service 300 feet out from an Internet router. In a survey of its members earlier this year, ACI-NA found that 49 airports offer fee Wi-Fi and 41 offers free Wi-Fi. Some airports have both free and fee networks within their facilities. Free Versus Fee “A simple way to think of Wi-Fi is as another concessionaire.” — Dave Hagan, Boingo president and CEO “Our view is that fee methods are higherquality, with more bandwidth. It also allows us to do more sophisticated technology such as providing services to concessionaires, airlines or airport employees,” said Boingo president and CEO Dave Hagan. “A simple way to think of Wi-Fi is as another concessionaire.” In airports with networks owned by other Wi-Fi hotspot operators, Boingo pays a fee so its customers can work the web with their Boingo accounts. Boingo set up its first Wi-Fi network in 1999 with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for the John F. Kennedy, La Guardia and Newark airports. Extending Airport Networks Airports with their own Wi-Fi networks for airport and airline operations can find it inexpensive to extend them for passenger use. “Most airports have a significant investment in cabled infrastructure, which makes the installation | CENTERLINES 39

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Centerlines - December 2008

Centerlines - December 2008
President’s Message
Canadian Airports
Associates’ Corner
Policy Center
On the Hill and On the Stump
Cover Story: Airport Belt Tightening
On Management: Pooling DBE Resources
Revenue Arena: New Revenue Streams
Griesbach Concessions Award Winners
Security: Employee Screening Pilot Tests
New Technology: Wireless Growth
Now Underway
Grand Openings
New Members
Index of Advertisers/
Box Scores

Centerlines - December 2008