Pay-per-use wireless InternetÂ service has evolved from daily usage plans to include prepaid home service. The service delivers Internet access without a commitment, which can range from daily to monthly access charges. Travelers or light Internet users pay a nominal fee for a limited daily or monthly access period. Additionally, some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) offer home-based prepaid access, which limits monthly payments for light Internet users. Wireless Internet pay-per-use features include multiple access points, flexible payment structures and customer discounts.
1. Multiple Access Points:
Prepaid wireless Internet service provides multiple access locations. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) work with businesses—bookstores, airports or cafes, for example—to enhance location services. For example, Starbucks Coffee Company offers Internet access in partnership with AT&T Wireless or T-Mobile. When you visit a municipal access point and open your Internet browser, the company’s network requires payment and acceptance of posted terms of condition. As a result, you can access the Internet at any of the businesses locations—typically located across the country—or from the comfort of your home.
2. Flexible Payment Features:
Payment options range from business specific rewards programs, payment tiers and flat-fee credit card payments. For example, Starbucks Coffee Company offers “two consecutive hours a day of complimentary AT&T Wi-Fi service” for customers with a registered Starbucks card, according to the company’s website.
In addition, some ISPs offer several service-plan options. For example, T-Mobile’s HotSpot service offers three plans. You can choose from the T-Mobile Unlimited National, Unlimited National–Month to Month, or DayPass. Plans range in price from $9.99 to $39.99 monthly as of May 2010. Furthermore, companies like Xanadoo, MaGlobe and MobilityPass offer prepaid service for your home with the use of a USB access card or an assigned access number.
3. Existing Customer Discount Features:
If you have a service plan with the ISP, you may receive usage discounts. For example, AT&T offers customers free municipal access if they have a current wireless account or digital-subscriber-line (DSL) service. Many ISPs offer corporate clients discounted rates to provide ease of use to company employees.