T-Mobile Signs Wi-Fi Deals With Airlines

T-Mobile will set up wireless hot spots in airports across the country.

T-Mobile USA Inc. on Wednesday announced deals with three airlines to set up wireless hot spots for business travelers in airports across the country.

American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines all are partnering with T-Mobile to set up wireless LAN access points in each airlines frequent flier clubs and lounges, said officials at the Bellevue, Wash., company.

T-Mobile, a subsidiary of German telecom giant Deutsche Telecom AG, plans to add public WLANs to 100 airport clubs and lounges within the next year, officials said. T-Mobile already operates WLAN services in 40 airports.

T-Mobile also operates WLANs in hundreds of Starbucks coffee shops and plans to start offering the service in Borders bookstores in early 2003.

The networks access points support the 802.11b or "Wi-Fi" protocol, which enables data transfers of up to 11M bps for customers whose laptops or handheld devices are equipped to support the technology.