Google bringing free Wi-Fi to malls


GoogleGoogle is expanding its free Wi-Fi project with hotspot provider Boingo beyond the subway stations and hot spots  of New York City to eight malls across the country, testing whether free wireless access sponsored by its daily deal service Google Offers will work, reports GigaOM.

They didn’t name the specific malls, saying only that at least four of them would be in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Tampa and Seattle. Google Offers will sponsor the service, meaning customers connecting to the hotspots with a smartphone, tablet or PC will encounter a welcome screen encouraging them to sign up for Google’s daily deal service. Regardless of whether customers sign up for the service or skip past the screen, they’ll get free, unrestricted access.

In New York, Google and Boingo have offered the promotion in six subway stations and 200 hot spots throughout Manhattan on a trial basis until 9/7, said the story. The two are also working together to offer discounted Wi-Fi access in 16 airports. Google Offers will be selling a half-off 24-hour pass for Boingo’s global footprint, which customers can buy when they log into any of the airport networks.

See the GigaOM story here