Irvine, Calif. — To help boost wireless networking, Toshiba’s digital product division has created an Internet service called MyConnect that gives consumers access to 20,000 Wi-Fi hotspots in the United States.
The service, which goes online July 23, does not supply wireless service, but enables subscribers to utilize most of the accessible hotspots already available across the country, without having to be signed up for each individual service, said Raja Narayanan, VP of mobility solutions for Toshiba America Information Systems. Instead, MyConnect customers will pay Toshiba a fee, expected to be under $50 per month, and Toshiba will then pay the individual ISPs through a third company called GoRemote.
Narayanan said Toshiba research indicated that its users are very interested in having Internet capability outside their home or office, but were having difficulty managing the myriad of wireless services now on the market.
MyConnect will be available to anyone owning a wireless networking capable notebook, Narayanan said. The MyConnect software will come bundled on Toshiba models starting this fall or can be electronically downloaded from Toshiba. The software recognizes whichever wireless network is available in a given area and makes the connection.
Down the road, Toshiba would like MyConnect to cover a person’s home Internet service as well, enabling people to pay just one bill per month for all their Internet services.