Verizon's Wi-Fi Network: Is That a Marketing Stunt As Well?

[qi:___wifi] Back in February, Cablevision (s CVC) announced a Wi-Fi initiative that would give free access to its customers in parts of New York and New Jersey. In response, a Verizon spokesperson told The New Jersey Star-Ledger:

“New Jersey is a fast-growing area for Verizon (s VZ), so industry insiders know that our gains are coming from someone’s losses,” said spokesman Rich Young. “We consider cable’s local Wi-Fi initiatives to be nothing more than a marketing stunt.”

The Wall Street Journal’s Vishesh Kumar has the scoop on a new Wi-Fi effort by Verizon.

Verizon Communications Inc. is preparing to offer free Wi-Fi access at hotspots to subscribers to its home broadband services, according to people familiar with the matter. The phone giant will partner with Boingo.

Verizon had earlier embarked on a Wi-Fi buildout, changed its mind and instead pushed for the sale of its EVDO service. They plan to launch a limited version of their 4G Wireless service, which uses LTE technologies, sometime later this year. So why this sudden need for Wi-Fi?

Maybe they want to show Apple (s appl) that they have a Wi-Fi network and are on par with AT&T (s t). In doing so, they could make a strong case for getting the iPhone or some other Apple device on their network(s.)