Verizon's Affair With Wi-Fi Heats Up

Verizon Wireless’s (s vz) love affair with Wi-Fi heated up again today with the carrier’s announcement that its broadband subscribers can now connect to thousands of hotspots in North America at no additional charge. Subscribers with Verizon laptop cards, mobile broadband USB modems or Verizon’s MiFi can connect at chains including Barnes & Noble and Starbucks in the U.S. as well as in Canada and Mexico.

The move follows an agreement inked earlier this year that provides Verizon Wireless Business fixed-line broadband subscribers with service through Wi-Fi hotspot operator Boingo Wireless. And it allows Verizon to better meet the demands of the data card users that account for a disproportionately massive amount of traffic on mobile networks. That offloading will be crucial as Verizon’s data traffic ramps up thanks to the Motorola (s mot) Droid (s goog) and other high-end gadgets — a lesson AT&T (s t) has learned the hard way with Apple’s (s aapl) iPhone.

Image courtesy Flickr user Adventures in Librarianship.