All the major leading web companies and the competitors on the web– Yahoo, Google, Microsoft or eBay, they all have the same concept of reaching more to people this season and that is to temporarily provide free Wi-Fi access in airports, airplanes and public places.
Yahoo Inc. on Monday, had said that it would provide free Wi-Fi access in New York’s Time Square. A street on the busy area was actually converted into pedestrian zone with chairs this spring, an ambiance created to move around casually and to use the laptops provided there.
On Tuesday, Google Inc. announced that it would give free Wi-Fi access in 47 airports across the country that include, Houston, Seattle, Boston and Las Vegas, till January 15th, 2010, as these airports seem to manage about 35 percent of U.S. air travelers. The McCarran International Airport at Las Vegas already provide free Wi-Fi and the sponsorships help the free service there.
These travelers who connect to a wireless “hot spot” at any of the 47 airports will browse page that provides them an opportunity to donate to three charities with the donations matched by Google. Google will provide free Wi-Fi access on Virgin American flights for the same time period.
Another part of the Google’s project, the Boingo Wireless Inc., that operates for-pay hot spots in airports, is already getting good feedback with free Wi-Fi campaigns sponsored by hotel chains. These campaigns usually offer the user to access for 15-20 minutes after the initial 30-second video advertisement.
The eBay Inc., the web auction powerhouse, will provide free Wi-Fi access at Delta Airlines Inc. planes during ‘Thanksgiving’ week. The users will first visit the holiday page of eBay once logged on to it, but from there they can easily scroll to other pages.
The Microsoft Corporation too has provided Wi-Fi access at some airports and hotels, since September. The company enables the users to make queries on ‘Bing’ which is the company’s new search engine.