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Summary:

Earthlink and Nokia are working on a promotion, looking to increase interest in Earthlink’s muniFi and boost the sales of Nokia’s new Internet tablet in the U.S. Earthlink plans to offer free muniFi to users of Nokia’s N800 Internet tablet until the end of 2007. Earthlink […]

Earthlink and Nokia are working on a promotion, looking to increase interest in Earthlink’s muniFi and boost the sales of Nokia’s new Internet tablet in the U.S. Earthlink plans to offer free muniFi to users of Nokia’s N800 Internet tablet until the end of 2007.

Earthlink employees at Nokia’s CTIA booth first told us about the promotion, which will include free service in the cities of Anaheim, Corpus Christi, Milpitas, New Orleans, and Philadephia. (Last I heard New Orleans already had a free service, so maybe this is access to the higher speed service.) Earthlink’s web site has more details, and points users to a site to download the connection wizard (still in beta) and configure service for the N800.


The promotion is interesting, but doesn’t seem like that big of a money saver. People who are buying an N800 probably see Earthlink muniFi as an added perk, not as his/her dominant broadband connection. The amount of cities involved (where Earthlink muniFi is up and running) is also pretty minimal for now.

Earthlink’s muniFi networks are relatively new, so the company is looking to raise awareness of the service. The response to Nokia’s N800 in the U.S. hasn’t been too overly enthusiastic, so Nokia can use more marketing too. We don’t know all the details of the promotion, and Earthlink spokespersons (not at CTIA) said the companies are still working out the terms.

These Wi-Fi promotions are becoming increasingly commonplace. Earlier this week it was announced that Sony PlayStation Portable customers could get free access over T-Mobile’s Wi-Fi network. Sony Mylo users also get free access to T-Mobile WiFi for a year. Microsoft & T-Mobile are offering free WiFi access to all Windows Vista users through end of April 2007.

  1. Consumers are getting used to Wi-Fi being free. I believe things are going to evolve to it being used so you describe, not as a primary broadband connection, but good when you are out and about and have a few minutes of downtime to get some things accomplished or have some fun. It is a free complimentary product to something else a person is willing to pay for regardless if that is a hotel room, conference, or piece of hardware.

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