Meeting one of the top demands by passengers for improved customer service at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners today approved a $663,333 two-year concession agreement plus a one-year extension option with Advanced Wireless Group LLC (AWG) to provide free Wi-Fi service to travelers. The free service could begin as early as this summer. Passengers will be able to use Wi-Fi basic services for free for sessions lasting less than 45 minutes. Passengers also will be able to opt to pay for premium and uninterrupted Wi-Fi service for a 24-hour period.
The agreement also calls for AWG to upgrade, operate, and maintain the public wireless Internet system at the airport for minimum annual guaranteed revenues to Los Angeles World Airports of $283,333 in the first year, $380,000 in the second year, and $420,000 in the third option year, if exercised.
“I am very pleased that Los Angeles World Airports will soon be providing residents and visitors to Los Angeles with free Wi-Fi service while they are at LAX,” said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa. “This builds on our LA Wi-Fi Initiative to provide free or low-cost Internet services throughout the city and to connect all of Los Angeles to the global community and global economy.”
“A major focus of our customer service improvements is to create a cohesive, memorable and positive experience for travelers at LAX,” said LAWA Executive Director Gina Marie Lindsey. “Given passenger expectations and trends at major airports and other public facilities, providing free Wi-Fi service at LAX will allow us to meet the demands of today’s travelers and to continue our commitment to excellent customer service.”
LAX currently offers Wi-Fi service on a payment basis only, at a cost of $9.99 per session with T-Mobile USA. Since T-Mobile does not provide free Wi-Fi and has reported to LAWA that it will no longer provide Internet services as part of its business model, airport officials consider today’s concession agreement as an interim bridge from the current for-pay service to a better, longer-term solution involving a distributed antenna system (DAS), which requires time to undertake a competitive contracting process and a significant investment in infrastructure by the winning proposer.
About Advanced Wireless Group, LLC
Founded in 2004 and headquartered in Miami, Florida, Advanced Wireless Group, LLC, installs, manages and integrates wireless Internet networks at airports, municipalities, colleges and other large venues.
About Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
LAX is the sixth busiest airport in the world and third in the United States, offering more than 600 daily flights to 91 domestic cities and more than 1,000 weekly nonstop flights to 58 cities in 32 countries on nearly 75 air carriers. It ranks 13th in the world in air cargo tonnage processed. In 2011, LAX served more than 61 million passengers, processed over 1.8 million tons of air cargo valued at nearly $84.6 billion, and handled 603,912 aircraft operations (landings and takeoffs). LAX is part of a system of three Southern California airports – along with LA/Ontario International and Van Nuys general aviation – that are owned and operated by Los Angeles World Airports, a proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles that receives no funding from the City’s general fund.
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