Every day seems to bring news of another citywide wireless network in development. Cities big and small in size (and between) are getting into the muni WiFi game, and providers such as EarthLink, MobilePro, and MetroFi are poised to rake in some hefty profits if these networks perform up to expectations.
Lost in the shuffle are the companies who have been providing WiFi access in hotels, restaurants, and airports for quite some time. Some analysts believe companies such as Wayport and Boingo will eventually lose business as the spate of muni WiFi networks continues to grow.
However, there may be a silver lining. Many of these muni networks have both a free and fee-paid service, and the free portion may not provide the speed desired by its users. The hotspot providers say they can fill that breach and offer faster speeds. However, their pricing plans of up to $10 a day for access will certainly have to come down significantly for them to compete in the marketplace.