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Summary:

The deal isn’t gigantic, adding only about 100 hotspot locations in major transit hubs to TWC’s network, but it could be the beginning of a bigger wireless expansion.

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Now that Time Warner Cable has it made it easier for customers to access its Wi-Fi hotspot networks with its recent upgrade to Hotspot 2.0, and it’s starting to expand its wireless coverage with roaming deals. It’s now signed a new roaming deal with wireless ISP Boingo, giving it access to its network of hotspots in busy U.S. transit hubs, including airports, train stations and even NYC subway platforms.

The deal is reciprocal, meaning Boingo’s wireless customers can access TWC’s 32,000-node hotspot network, built in commercial corridors and other highly trafficked areas throughout its cable territory. TWC broadband customers won’t get access to Boingo’s entire hotspot footprint, just travel hubs in about 100 U.S. locations.

Source: Shutterstock / Natalia Bratslavsky

Source: Shutterstock / Natalia Bratslavsky

Time Warner Cable and Boingo are the first Wi-Fi providers in the U.S. to adopt Hotspot 2.0, a new technology that allows devices to connect to Wi-Fi with the same ease as cellular networks. At least for now, the two aren’t using that network capability. Boingo customers will need to find and log in to TWC hotspots with Boingo’s Wi-Fi Finder app, while TWC customers must log in manually to Boingo’s hotspots using their Time Warner credentials.

The deal isn’t a huge one, but it could be the beginning of a much bigger expansion plan. Once Hotspot 2.0 is more widespread, TWC could pen roaming deals with any number of wireless ISPs, letting its customers connect to them automatically just as they would their home networks.