In this age of 3G and 4G mobile broadband, short-range Wi-Fi may be falling by the wayside a bit—but the technology still has a lot of advantages over mobile data services, not the least of which is exorbitant roaming fees. Wi-Fi hotspot network operator Boingo is aiming to appeal to travelers and businessfolk in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa with its new Boingo Europe Plus plan that offers access to more tha 90,000 hotspots for €27.95 a month. And for folks who occasionally meander outside that region, usage in the Americas and Asia Pacific region is €0.10 to 0.15 per minute—not cheap, but enough to check your email, upload some photos, and split.
“The new Boingo Europe Plus plan is part of our ongoing initiative to provide more flexibility to customers whose Internet access needs are concentrated in specific geographic regions,” said Boingo Wireless VP of consumer marketing Dawn Callahan, in a statement. “This provides an affordable option with expansive Wi-Fi coverage in EMEA, while also providing a pay-as-you-go option for usage outside your home region when you need it.”
Boingo’s hotspot network covers a number of countries in Europe, including the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, and Russia. Also on board: South Africa, United Arab Emirates, and (particularly important the last few weeks) Egypt.
Boingo Europe Plus is aimed mainly at notebook users who have substantial data needs. For folks who prefer to cart around smartphones rather than notebooks Boingo also offers its Boingo Mobile plan, which opens up Boingo’s worldwide network of over 260,000 hotspots to a wide range of handsets for the equivalent of $7.95 (€4.95) a month. Smartphones running Android, iOS, BlackBerry, and Windows Mobile are supported, along with Nokia’s N- and E-series handsets.
Boingo also offers Boingo Unlimited, a notebook service plans for North and South America ($9.95 per month), and Boingo UK and Ireland (£s;14.95 per month). A combined plan with Boingo Mobile and Boingo Unlimited runs $17.90 a month, and the whole enchilada—notebook and mobile access at all Boingo Wi-Fi hotspots anywhere in the world—is $59 a month.