Attention, mall shoppers: Pretty soon, you’ll be able to surf the Internet in between your shopping experiences, thanks to Google and Boingo’s new plan to extend their free Wi-Fi project from New York City to eight different malls across the United States.
The partnership between the two companies – in which those logging onto the free Wi-Fi service currently being offered in six subway stations and an additional 200 hotspots scattered throughout Manhattan until September 7 will be offered the opportunity to sign up for Google’s Google Offers daily deals service (Subscription to the service isn’t mandatory to be able to get the free Wi-Fi, however) – has apparently been judged enough of a success by both parties that it’s being rolled out across the US. At least, in a somewhat limited capacity, for now.
Although the announcement of the program’s second phase lacks some details with this first announcement – Currently, we’re lacking both the exact location of the eight malls chosen for the project has yet to be revealed (Although four of the pilot cities have been announced; if you live in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Tampa or Seattle, you’re in luck – although in at least two of those cities, it’s unlikely that you’d have to go to a mall to find a Wi-Fi signal anywhere) as well as an exact start date for this second phase – it’s clear that both Google and Boingo are sticking close to the model proven successful in the New York trial; although this second trial is centering on shopping malls instead of subway stations, both locations share a constant flow of traffic, and the possibility for a high level of demand.
That’s something that’s also present in an additional trial that’s going to be occurring at the same time as the shopping mall rollout. According to some additional reports, the eight malls chosen for the pilot program will be joined by sixteen airports across the country as part of a third trial, with travel hubs in Chicago, Houston and Washington DC being selected for this test alongside LA, New York and Seattle.
While the shopping mall trial is expected to follow the free-access-in-exchange-for-Google-Offer-welcome-screen model of the New York model, the third trial will introduce something new into the mix: Google Offers will be offering a trial-specific offer to travelers who log in to the Boingo Wi-Fi signal at airports: A 50 percent discount on a 24-hour pass giving access to Boingo’s international Wi-Fi network, “Boingo As You Go,” that will become active on purchase.
Neither Google nor Boingo has released a date for the roll-out of the second and third phases of testing, nor one for an announcement of the other cities to receive mall or airport access to the Wi-Fi network.