Avis recently began offering customers a wireless Internet service to use in its rental cars, hotel rooms and wherever. The new Avis Connect service, at 10.95 per day, can transmit a Wi-Fi signal to multiple laptops and other mobile devices at the same time.
The service is provided with a portable device developed by Autonet Mobile that gets its Internet connection from a cellphone network. The company declined to disclose which one, though the cellular technology involved suggests that it is being provided by either Verizon Wireless or Sprint Nextel, reported The AP story.
The service debuted at San Francisco International Airport and is currently rolling out in San Jose, LA and Newark. In Q3 it will be available in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, New York, San Diego and Seattle, The AP said.
SmartMedia observation: Obviously the shape of things to come. Most folks are going to choose this over satellite in their rental cars. Plug in your RF iPod transmitter into the laptop or smartphone headphone jack and listen to internet radio over the car stereo. A good number of new vehicles allow you to plug in directly to the car stereo now, as well. It seems new mobile technologies are more and more being brought to the fore by the rental car companies. Satellite radio and mobile DirecTV had the first shot; next will be wireless internet, and then HD Radio. Consumers decide if it's a hit or not.