National Wi-Fi networks have been emerging from the top down and from the bottom up. Top-down network vendors—such as AT&T Wireless, T-Mobile Hotspot, and Verizon—were already in the telecommunications business. These companies decided that there was a business opportunity in meeting the needs of people like you and me by creating a Wi-Fi network.
The bottom-up vendors, such as Boingo Wireless and Wayport, came from a different place. They were entrepreneurs who figured that there was an opportunity in the new, “disruptive” Wi-Fi technology.
Although the business of providing Wi-Fi access remains fragmented, some major national networks are coalescing. It has become clear that to survive from a business viewpoint, the networks ...