Verizon Wireless is offering its mobile broadband consumers free access to thousands of Wi-Fi hot spots throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
The service is intended to help mobile broadband subscribers manage their data allowance, according to a Verizon Wireless spokeswoman. It allows users to choose from either a 3G Internet connection or free Wi-Fi Internet connection.
The service is only available on Verizon Wi-Fi supported devices such as its MiFi mobile hot spot, USB modems and netbooks. Subscribers must also have a monthly Mobile Broadband or GlobalAccess plan. The free Wi-Fi service is not available for smartphones, according to the spokeswoman.
Wi-Fi connections have proved to be a useful tool for carriers seeking to unburden their networks of data-intensive applications.
Many carriers currently offer unlimited voice and data plans that do not evenly distribute the cost of Internet access. Industry insiders predict that carriers will roll out tiered pricing models in response to net neutrality rules.