First it was free WiFi on Virgin America courtesy of Google… Now it seems there is a mad rush to give WiFi away in lots of places such as airports and even Times Square. It seemed to first start with Mountain View, California – Google’s hometown, where the search giant hung radios to “light up” the city with wireless internet. Then of course it was Virgin America and more recently, Google will be giving away WiFi at 47 airports for the holidays. Some of the larger airports included are Houston, Las Vegas, Miami, San Jose (no surprise), San Diego and Orlando. Sadly there are no New York airports on the list.
Not to be outdone, Yahoo has announced that as of today it will provide free WiFi throughout Times Square for the holidays.
The trend is clear… Internet advertising giants are looking to extend their reach and they realize that the next frontier for growth is the mobile web. The best way to reach mobile web users of course is by providing something users really want. And free wireless broadband is likely at the top of the list.