Autonet Mobile is the ringleader behind the effort, developing the system exclusively for Avis. Anything that would hook up to a WiFi network is compatible with the system, making it easy to use laptops from the comfort of the Avis rental to access e-mail, games, music, etc. without a need for a cellular chip or other satellite-based card.
While $10.95 may not sound cheap, it's not uncommon for hotels and some cafes (cough-Starbucks-cough) to charge about that much anyway, and really, how much time do you spend in your hotel room?
Full press release from Avis after the jump.
Avis Connect Service Launches in San Francisco
PARSIPPANY, N.J., May 21 -- Avis Rent A Car System, LLC
today announced that it will bring portable Wi-Fi connectivity to the
travel industry with the launch of its new Avis Connect service. Avis
Connect enables travelers to enjoy broadband wireless Internet connectivity
at all times and places during their travel, from airports to meetings to
hotels, and everything in between. The opportunity to have portable
connectivity throughout their trip is expected to enhance the productivity
and convenience of Avis renters' travel.
The first Avis Connect units will be available starting today at San
Francisco International Airport and will be offered in the coming weeks at
Avis airport locations in San Jose, Oakland, Los Angeles and Newark,
followed in the third quarter at airport locations in Atlanta, Chicago,
Dallas, Miami, New York, San Diego and Seattle. The cost of the Avis
Connect service is $10.95 per day.
"At Avis we continue to lead the industry in introducing products that
make travel easier, smarter and more productive for both business and
leisure travelers," said Mike Caron, vice president of product and program
development for Avis Budget Group, parent of Avis. "Today, travelers are
increasingly considering Internet access to be an important aspect of
travel. With Avis Connect we are providing an easy-to-use service to help
executives and families stay connected. This is just one of the many
technological innovations, like our electronic toll collection services,
that Avis is proud to introduce to the industry."
Avis Connect was developed by Autonet Mobile exclusively for Avis. "The
Avis Connect service allows multiple Wi-Fi enabled devices to connect to
the Internet, giving business and leisure travelers unlimited access to
data, music, games, chat and anything else they might like to access while
they travel," said Sterling Pratz, CEO of Autonet Mobile. "Avis Connect
service is simple to use and does not require any software or technical
expertise. Anyone who has a Wi-Fi enabled laptop or device can simply log
on and surf."
Avis customers that utilize Avis Connect service do not need cellular
data cards or special software loads to connect to wireless Internet
devices. Avis Connect is compatible with all Wi-Fi enabled devices,
including laptops, Ultra-Mobile PC handhelds and PDAs.
For more information, visit http://www.avis.com. Avis customers will be
reminded at the time of rental that the service is not to be used by the
driver while operating the vehicle. The service is intended to be used by
passengers, when the vehicle is parked, or in locations other than the
About Autonet Mobile
Autonet Mobile is the world's first in-car Internet service provider.
Autonet Mobile's patent pending TRU Technology enables seamless Internet
connectivity so that passengers stay connected while driving. TRU
Technology provides intelligent, dynamic automatic session management
between high/low speed networks, producing a reliable user experience.
Autonet Mobile ensures a secure, broadband-level connection to any
Wi-Fi-enabled device within close proximity to the vehicle. Founded by a
corporate executive and former race car driver, and leading network
architect and designer, the company is dedicated to enhancing the in-car
experience, and bringing a full, multimedia experience to the 200+ million
cars on the road in the U.S. Reliable, secure and fast, Autonet Mobile is
effective on more than 95 percent of roads in the U.S. The service turns
the car into a secure mobile hotspot, allowing multiple Wi-Fi- enabled
devices to connect, and giving consumers access to data, music, games,
chat, and anything else they might like to access in their second home-the
car. For more information, visit http://www.autonetmobile.com.
Avis Rent A Car System, LLC and its subsidiaries operate one of the
world's leading car rental brands, providing business and leisure customers
with a wide range of services at more than 2,100 locations in the United
States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Latin American / Caribbean
region. Avis is one of the world's top brands for customer loyalty, ranking
as the number one car rental company in the 2007 Brand Keys(R) Customer
Loyalty Index. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Avis Budget
Group, Inc. (NYSE: CAR). For more information, visit http://www.avis.com.