Truckstops Announce Wireless Internet Deals

Truckstop.net and Sprint have begun offering wireless Internet service at some Rip Griffin Travel Centers and Love’s Travel Stops, as well as Petro Stopping Centers.

The $69 million deal between Idaho-based Truckstop.net and Kansas-based Sprint uses Wi-Fi, or wireless fidelity, to deliver high-speed Internet.

Truckstop.net offers unlimited Wi-Fi services for $29.95 a month. The company is considering prepaid fees and other non-subscription user fees.

A computer with a wireless network card or a Wi-Fi enabled personal digital assistant is needed to use Wi-Fi. Many new laptops are Wi-Fi enabled.

Truckstop.net intends to bring the service to about 300 new locations every quarter, with a goal of being in 3,000 truckstops in five years.

Mark Griffin, president of Rip Griffin Travel Centers, estimated more than 25 percent of truckers have laptop computers.

Truckstop.net and Petro earlier announced Wi-Fi plans, and other companies have announced similar plans this year.

Tennessee-based IdleAire Technologies said last summer it had plans to introduce wireless Internet at truckstops that offer IdleAire’s Advanced Travel Center Electrification system. IdleAire is offering Wi-Fi in a partnership with Cisco Systems of California, Northrop Grumman IT of Virginia and TravelVision, and roaming agreements with Boingo and iPass.

In April, Texas-based Petro, the Utah-based Flying J and SmartStop Wireless Solutions of Oregon formed the Travel Plaza Alliance Network to a provide a Wi-Fi network at Flying J Travel and Petro facilities throughout the United States and Canada.

In March, IBM and Rocksteady Networks announced that they would provide the infrastructure for Columbia Advanced Wireless for Wi-Fi access at more than 1,000 truckstops nationwide.

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